A visit to the “high church of constructivism”

My Constructivism and Technology class at USF had a great evening at the Exploratorium a few weeks ago. Great fun watching folks figure out (or not) the exhibits. explo_mirror.jpg

One of the exhibits I really enjoyed was Optica Moderna. The exhibit was built around having someone explore how much (or little) they actually see when scanning a scene. The setup was super – sort of a storefront that extends the photography of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, who was known for photographs that demonstrated the difficulty of seeing clearly.om_1.jpg

The setup was a bit difficult and more than one person who tried to use it were unsuccessful calibrating the ocular scanning equipment. Watching two young girls use the exhibit, it was clear they were intrigued. As they attempted to calibrate the machine, they openly discussed what they thought it might do. However, they were unable to set up the machine.om_w2.jpg

Talking about it with my classmates, we eventually settled on what we thought it might “do” – more or less – it demonstrates how little of the world we really see. Since it took us some time to agree, I suspect the exhibit may have not been as clear as it could have been in showing folks what was going on. However, the fact we were engaged enough to stick with this one and debate/discuss what it was about, leads me to think that it was ultimately successful as a constructivist learning expericen for some, but not all.


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