Exhibition challenges

Our exhibition Quiet Please! has brought some interesting challenges which in the busy blur of period leading up to opening day I hadn’t given much thought to.
One of the biggest challenges is maintaining the integrity of the exhibits. The gallery is new and while supportive doesn’t have a great deal of experience hosting these kind of works. The installations use a lot of sensors, projectors, and workstations which require some training to even get them working. It’s nothing too complex of course but minor errors can delay the start of an installation. The cultural bureau manages to keep a member of their staff on site everyday, something I find pretty remarkable as the mind numbing cold and boredom must take it’s toll on their patience. This means one of the team must sit there as well everyday. Something I hadn’t counted on.
We have made one very simple mistake and it’s a mistake made on just about every project I have been apart of in Taiwan. It’s not a problem unique to Taiwan though but perhaps more evident. We didn’t really have a concrete plan in terms of the design of the installations beyond opening day and we didn’t have enough time for adequate testing. Our focus was to make sure everything worked for that day and I guess we thought the following days and weeks would take care of themselves. Problems have arisen with some of the software – problems which are difficult to address especially since it’s pretty hard to motivate people to continue working on something when they have already given so much. A lot of our work needs to be interacted with and luckily no major problems have arisen. But right along side the interactive works are the ones that require passive listening. The experiences are too close together and the sounds bleed together. You need space between the two, especially with children, to allow people to adjust to these two different modes.
Years of performing has ingrained in my mind the concept of performance – weeks of preparation resulting in a single or series of concerts. To have to have that same level of preparation and to have maintain the same level of quality day in and day out is a new challenge.