M+ Rover: Experimenting With Participatory Art
M+ Rover, a traveling creative studio at M+, is currently finishing up its 2018 tour. Below, Winnie Lai from the M+ Learning and Interpretation team writes about why participation has been such an important part of the M+ Rover. The below text is based on a talk she gave at the Museum Ideas Conference in London in October 2017.
What can a museum learning team do before the museum has a building?
At M+, the Learning and Interpretation team sees the period before the museum building opens as an opportunity to explore and experiment. We have tried to gain an understanding of our potential audiences and their knowledge about M+ with our pre-opening exhibitions and programmes, and have realised that without a physical building, it can be hard for audiences to have a clear understanding of the future museum. We realised that we needed to build connections and outreach through a more specific and regular approach.
It is within this context that M+ Rover was launched in 2015. M+ Rover is a school and community outreach project: a trailer converted into a moving creative travelling studio. From February to June, it travels to schools and communities with an artist’s commission that takes the form of a workshop and an exhibition. We envision it as a space for non-formal learning, where people can simply rest and create; a flexible space where workshops, exhibitions, and other activities can take place. The M+ Rover experience is all about participatory practice; that is, art that revolves around participation with the audience.