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Curator's Corner: What I Learned Along the Way

Curator's Corner: What I Learned Along the Way

Check out our previous post about the TRBQ exhibition. 

It's not just that humans gotta dance -- it's that we learn to do it really early. TRBQ includes this home video of two 11-month-old babies who know how to groove.  (Amy Snyder/Exploratorium) 


I was the director of a team of people who got together once a week for a year to create TRBQ, which stands for The Really Big Questions. Our dynamic team consisted of a project manager, an exhibit developer, an evaluator, a graphic designer, an editor, and a technician. We all contributed to the project by bringing our particular brand of expertise and skill sets to the work. One of the main questions we grappled with was: Given that these are immense questions, what should we choose to include? After all, one could design an entire exhibition on just one of these questions.  We researched until we zeroed in on the things we thought were the most interesting.

Through the creation of this exhibition, I found out so much that I didn’t know. For instance, did you know that current research indicates that we learn how to keep a musical beat before we are even born? That means we either learn it in the womb or that it is innate, buried somewhere in our genes. And do you know what we have in common with most cockatiels? We are two of the few species on the planet that can actually keep a beat. You should see how hard it is for a seal

While researching, I also found a great video called “Giving.” I think it is a notable example of how media and marketing folks have begun to realize just how incredibly valuable a story can be in terms of selling something.  Notice those expensive car ads lately? In thirty seconds, they tell us a full story with a beginning, middle, and an end. Truly makes me want to buy a BMW.

The “Giving” video has its own peculiar story and tracking it down was a detective novel in the making. Turns out it was created by an international media company by the name of  TrueMove H. I tracked them down and got a hold of someone in the American bureau, who connected me to the Asian bureau, who actually told me we could use it in the exhibition.

Though we didn’t end up including it, you can watch the video here. Everyone on the TRBQ team had their own opinions about it, ranging from sweet to cynical. Check it out. What do you think?