Pecha Kucha, April 22

To our guest critics:

Students in Digital Archives have been charged with “reimagin[ing] the “interface” to the archives by prototyping… platforms for highlighting and recontextualizing noteworthy archival material – particularly material regarding the history of media study and media-making at The New School.” They’ve chosen to create a single class-wide exhibition — with each student making an individual contribution based on his or her own interests — using the Scalar platform.  You’ll see here some of our “conceptual” plans for the exhibition; the second image shows students’ individual areas of interest. And some students have posted their individual project proposals here.

As you can see in my instructions to the students, below, they’re starting to translate their conceptual interests into concrete exhibitions of “archival stuff.” They’ll be sharing their evolving ideas with you in the form of a pecha kucha, with each student delivering a fast-paced presentation consisting of 20 slides. We’d value your input, at this formative stage, on how their projects are taking shape. Is there a there there? Are there rhetorical strategies they should employ to help them more effectively convey their messages via exhibition? Are there particular archival materials you’d recommend that they include? Are there ethical issues they need to consider?  Do you see any potentially fruitful synergies between different students’ projects?

To Digital Archives students:

The Pecha Kucha exercise will serve to:

  1. help your classmates learn about your particular theoretical and topical interests (which will also help us formalize plans for collaboration);
  2. encourage you to think concretely about the “stuff” of your contribution – i.e., how you’ll flesh out your conceptual interests with exhibitable archival objects and arguments [Your plans are undoubtedly still taking shape at this stage of the semester, and they’ll continue to evolve as you “actualize” your project on Scalar – so, rather than thinking of this presentation as a demonstration of “your work,” I encourage you to approach it more as a preview of what’s possible in your final project]; and
  3. allow you to receive some design feedback — about how to frame your exhibition — from the experts who’ll be visiting us in class.

Learn about PechaKuchas here. See also Olivia Mitchell’s “Five Presentation Tips for Pecha Kucha or Ignite Presentation” Speaking About Presenting [blog post], and check out some videos of Ignite presentations.

Here’s what you need to do: Prepare a 20-slide, automatically advancing (timed) presentation (20 seconds per slide) that encapsulates the topics / themes, archival “stuff,” and arguments that are central to your project, and that previews the breadth of media forms and formats that you’re likely to include in your exhibition. Because our projects are not solely visual, you’re welcome to incorporate audio and video clips – as long as they’re limited to 20-second bites.