I did it. I finally did the final last touches on my online exhibit. The timeline, object model, object description, and object analysis are all done to the best of my ability at this time.
For as cliche as it is to say, I actually learned a lot about myself, exposition, and material studies. Initially, I was worried that this project was going to be way too much to handle. After all, before this class I wrote mostly persuasive pieces. How was I supposed to interest an audience when I’m just discussing connections and feelings about an object on a large scale? I was also concerned how I was going to go about the process of creating all of these individual pieces. A semester is only about three months, and that was a lot of material to go through, explain, and present in interesting ways.
I’m going to break down my process of organizing this exhibit by visual implements and organization.
I decided to put one of the more detailed photos I had of the object on the item description page because I wanted to ensure that the die had a realistic representation somewhere on the exhibit, and seeing as my 3D model is just a draft stepping stone, I thought the photo would be best. I put it at the beginning because I got to experience the die before discussing it, and I thought my audience could afford the same. My timeline uses an abundance of visual queues to indicate to the readers what time period or object I was talking about. On my object analysis, I became frustrated with the presentation visual media would have on Omeka. There are no caption boxes (even after borrowing caption coding), and the database makes it very hard to make the visuals dynamic and easily transitional. They essentially just sit in the middle of the page. I began to use more hyperlink style multimodality to encourage a clean presentation and an opportunity for readers to go deeper, if they wanted. My 3D model was the most frustrating part if the visual representation, and the part I was planning to have as the star of the exhibit. However, the 3D scanning software in the CURVE doesn’t allow .obj files to be edited, leaving my scans separate instead of a cube. Once I uploaded the .obj to SketchFab, all of the wood grain detail I had scanned in had disappeared, leaving white models of the faces. Like I said, the 3D model was frustrating. I couldn’t understand how I was supposed to save my scans to edit later (because after scanning and editing I spent 3 hours in one session, after two other long sessions on scans I ultimately tossed, and was clearly not done with the model) and how all of the detail disappeared once I uploaded it. This is the most complete scan thus far on this tiny, complicated object, but I am still dissatisfied with what all of my work produced on that section of the project. If I had more time to dedicate to this project, I feel like I would dedicate that time to the scanning process.
I wanted to mock the thorough walk-through process of museum exhibits. I did this by using my introduction to intrigue the audience, the timeline to then give the audience a feeling they have context, and an analysis to encourage critical thinking about that object’s impact on our lives. The model came at the end to allow the audience to feel like they can investigate further their feelings on the object. I mocked museum style expeditionary writing in my intro, following a very similar priority for information. However, I wanted to have a discussion about this, so I kept my tone light– as if we were discussing it in an open classroom. I wanted to have a space where my audience could disagree with my stance on cultural impact, but they would have to supply information and experiences that would support their feelings. I wanted there to be a feeling that we were musing the topic together– the audience and I. I wanted them to feel like these conclusions and events were equally known to each of us, and that we were equal in the discussion of it.
Overall, I think my project was successful. I believe there are always things I am going to want to tinker and be upset that I couldn’t get my original image to translate to the page because of my technological skill and knowledge. However, I developed a lot of content and a lot of interest throughout this project, and I am proud that I did it.