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Indigenous Knowledge Commons

Virtual Exhibits

About Virtual Exhibits

An exhibit, or an exhibition, is a public display of objects. A Virtual Exhibit displays not physical objects but computer generated representations of objects. It is hard to believe that only a generation ago, any exhibit that offered copies or mere representations of objects was seen as a second rate experience, or even something akin to fraud.

Now, all that has changed. Instead of having to travel hundreds, or thousands, of miles to visit museum collections or to see special exhibitions, anyone can go online to see a dazzling array of art objects, artifacts of nature, culture, technology and everyday life. Virtual Exhibits have many advantages: they enable the juxtaposition of images that could never be brought together in real life. These images can be scrutinized, compared, and interpreted in ways designed to stimulate visual thinking and intellectual problem solving. They are ideal for use in teaching at any level, especially in indigenous contexts in which so much culture is transmitted through visual, oral, and performative modes rather than by text. The objects of material culture may be examined as knowledge-bearing instruments, culture embedded in technology and design.

Norman Akers


Norman Akers, Instructor, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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