Visual artefact – ‘Dualisms’

My visual artefact Dualisms takes the form of an exhibition (using artsteps).

Follow the link to enter the exhibition – you have the choice to explore without guidance or text (by using the keyboard and mouse to move around), or by clicking the “play” button to take a guided tour.

There is a little audio at points, but it can be viewed without audio so feel free to switch it off if you wish.

Dualisms artsteps Exhibition
Dualisms artsteps Exhibition

If you have any problems accessing the exhibition directly at artsteps, here is a video preview showing the guided tour:

Credits can be viewed by clicking on the individual images within the exhibition.

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12 Replies to “Visual artefact – ‘Dualisms’”

    1. Thank you! I was actually originally thinking of a Prezi slideshow, but remembered using Minecraft from IDEL…then by accident stumbled upon artsteps (, which seemed like a mix between the two. You can upload images, choose from ready-made objects and templates and drag and drop it into place through the website relatively quickly. It was free and you don’t need any specialist software or skills (which was good as I don’t have them!), but quite limited in some ways so hopefully it conveyed something slightly meaningful through the mashup of available “stock objects” and images I’d collected during this block!

  1. Mind blowingly excellent piece! I love the way you put this together – VR and letting people explore is very much my thing 🙂

    1. Thank you! Yes, I didn’t even realise the artsteps website even allowed you to explore via VR until I tried it out on my phone! Had a few issues getting it to load on a slow connection though, so hope the “guided tour” video allows “another way in” (although it wouldn’t let me hide the text description there, so possibly lays out my own interpretation a little too explicitly rather than letting you explore and make your own!)

  2. Wow Michael! A really creative artefact. The them of dualisms is very important and I like that there is even a physical duality between the ‘indoors’ where everything is dualistic and the ‘outdoors’ where there is complex entanglement/non-duality. Yet all is set in a virtual space made up of zeros and ones.

    1. Thank you! Yes, the indoors/outdoors distinction was a sort of happy accident as I was grappling with the limitations of the artsteps website… It instructs you to “build” the walls a bit like we did in Minecraft in IDEL, and I suppose this influenced me to make the distinction between the dualistic way of thinking and the ‘complex entanglement’ (although perhaps this distinction in itself is quite dualistic…!).

  3. Your virtual tour is phenomenal, Michael! There are so many thought-provoking ideas all logically sequenced.

    I particularly liked the bit about test passed/failed when paralleled with gained something or nothing. And then you ask ‘What is the world out there?’ I personally saw the eternal tension between theory and practice implied here. In this fast-changing world the knowledge students gain in the classroom is often not relevant to real life. Obviously, with the rise of WWW the problem of traditional education has become even more acute…

    1. Thank you! I also wonder if some students who are considering to be ‘failing’ in a traditional view of education might often actually have very interesting things to say ‘outside’ of the traditional syllabus or standardised assessment procedures (another possible interpretation of the indoors/outdoors distinction!).

  4. What a great artefact! I’ve never seen Artsteps before, but it worked brilliantly here. I felt like I was back in Second Life, or some early VR, perfect for that ‘cybercultures’ feel!

    Tacking dualisms is a useful theme here, and as others have commented, using ‘indoors’ and ‘outdoors’ really created a sense of freedom for the latter.

  5. Thank you, Jeremy! Yes, it was my first stab at using Artsteps but it did remind me somewhat of Second Life and Minecraft. Although, the stock ‘cyborg’ characters available were a very specific and perhaps slightly overused view of that term!

    It has been really interesting how the ‘indoors’ and ‘outdoors’ has been interpreted slightly differently by everyone though.

  6. Great artefact Michael. The fact that it is interactive makes it more significant in an age when we have control over what we see and read and our own personal patterns for learning. The use of other micro-artefacts and symbols within the main artefact poignantly, I feel, establish the rigidity of traditional education, especially the use of the books and correct/incorrect symbols on the wall. The classical piano tune is also testimony to the ‘classic’ element of traditional education.
    Thanks a lot for this.

    1. Thank you, Val! Yes, the ‘pass’/’fail’ binary seemed at odds with the ‘complex entanglement’ which fell ‘outside’…yet the ‘fail’ door perhaps led to something that couldn’t be categorised as ‘negative’?

      I’ve been reflecting on this problematic ‘success’/’failure’ binary lately, inspired by books such as ‘The Queer Art of Failure’ by Halberstam (2011)…

      As we continue our micro-ethnographies, I wonder how the assumptions held about ‘success’ and ‘failure’ by the designers of, and participants in, our MOOCs may affect the course/community?

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