Pergamon

I spent my weekend in Berlin, and of course had to experience the wonders of the Pergamon museum. Though this place of ancient bricks and sculptures and with mobile phone use being strictly forbidden might not seem so very hybrid I will now prove it to be somewhat so anyway.
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As I entered the exhibition area I was handed an electronic device known as an audio guide. As I pressed the play button a friendly voice presented me the option of either being guided through the highlights of the museum or investigating by myself using the audio guide as a supplement of knowledge to whatever I myself might find interesting. I chose the second by pressing the number 5 button.

The rooms were filled with data from both the ancient founds and the individually structured walks. What was significant about us who were wearing the audio guides was that we were present both in the spatial room and in the space of information that the audio guides provided us.
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When I found something that I wanted to know more about I would press a number that was written by the object and the friendly voice would tell me all that I needed to know and even tell me were to notice something specific and “if you walk up these stairs and look to the right you will see that…” This made the spatial room and the information room interact in a funny way.

By the end of a presentation the voice would say: “if you want to know more about …(Athena for instance) press the green button”, so there was always a choice and therefore to some extend an interaction going on, which made my experience different from every other present individual’s. Furthermore there were also computers in some of the rooms where you could investigate the exhibition in another way.
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Maybe it is not really a hybrid space in de Souza e Silva’s definition since there are no mobile social networks occurring, unless of course you have planned it so that you press the same buttons on your audio guides at the exact same time. But it is surely an augmented place where, as Lev Manovich states it, there is a “physical space overlaid with dynamically changing information”

Written by Siff (who is quite embarrassed that she was not able to make some better pictures or at least make them all stand upwards in the right angle!)

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