In 2008, some of you may remember that IKM had – among other things – a display at the EADI General Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. This featured a huge flag hanging in the atrium (see photograph) but also the first IKM installation which was designed by Ralph Borland, a South African artist. This installation had a number of different components: four information boards, featuring different perspectives on information and knowledge management related to development; one laptop per child; and an artwork called Crank the web which illustrates the importance of bandwidth for connecting to the web.
You can see Ralph Borland describing the Geneva installation on this Youtube video:
The next tri-annual EADI conference will be taking place in York in September 2011 and plans are afoot for the design of a new installation to be used at EADI and at other conference. This new installation was on display for the first time at the ICTD2010 conference which took place in December in London.
The new installation is slightly different to the original one in that it comprises computer screens playing IKM-related digital stories (see photograph). Here is a slide show featuring photographs of the new installation at ICTD2010.
And why is IKM Emergent concerned to have installations at large conferences? If you consider that IKM is a campaign for slow knowledge and a space for innovation and reflection, both installations are designed to encourage new ways of thinking about information and knowledge. The installations are important in terms of both content and form. As content, they highlight diverse issues and, as form, – visualisation – they aim to facilitate innovation and new perspectives. They also represent – again as form – a new way of doing things at academic conferences.