In Knowledge We Trust

Lightning Talk
Kevin von Appen, Ontario Science Centre, Canada, Ana Klasnja, Ontario Science Centre, Canada, Max Evans, McGill University, Canada

The exhibition “In Knowledge We Trust”, has been driven by the doctoral research by Max Evans, done at the University of Toronto, which identified significant human and social factors influencing knowledge sharing within workplace teams. Trust was found to be the most important factor– based on data collected from 275 lawyers, clerks, and paralegals at one of Canada’s largest law firms. The challenge - how to present this information in an interesting way to the general public, yielded expansion of the research into the sphere of visual literacy and design of a brand new study, so to include museum visitors in actual research. Almost 1000 drawings have been collected on the museum floor, and a qualitative visual analysis was conducted with the main objective to identify a common method for interpreting drawings people use to communicate abstract concepts such as “knowledge”, which are difficult to express using words alone.The concept of trust and related risk is well explored in art. Along with the drawings by study participants, this exhibition features the work of performance & installation artist Alexandra Louise Beriault. Her Bridge, Head Study and Portrait Study, play with the same concepts on a very different level, exploiting trust, uncertainty, intimacy, and social obligation. The team who developed this exhibition, was based all over North America and couldn’t do it without networked technologies. Though transformative uses of technology in the museum based study, digital curating and through contemporary art practice, this exhibition explores very important questions. The sharing of the visitor drawings and the research results in this exhibition through networked technologies broadens culture, science and heritage.