IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


‘Gestures – in the past, present, and future’: A museum exhibition based on multimodal research

05 June 2019, 5:00 pm–6:30 pm

Gestures in the past, present and future

How can multimodality be applied beyond the labs, books and universities and make a difference in and for society?

Event Information

Open to



UCL Centre for Multimodal Research


Room 803
UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
20 Bedford Way

This talk from Dr Martin Siefkes (University of Technology Chemnitz), focuses on the exhibition ‘Gestures – in the past, present, and future’, which showed in Chemnitz last year and is currently showing at the Museum for Communication in Berlin.

The exhibition is linked to the MANUACT project and presents current research on gesture through artistic installations and interactive exhibits. It is the first ever exhibition that traces human gestures as a means of communication, exploring themes ranging from the future of gesture control to the link between gesture and traditional crafts. 

The exhibition in Chemnitz was a success, with over 16,00 visitors, extensive publicity and a rich programme of guided tours. In its new home in Berlin, it currently attracts over 4,000 visitors each weekend.

Visitor numbers, however, offer no indication about the impact that this exhibition has had people’s understanding of gesture.

Dr Siefkes presents images and videos from the exhibition and critically evaluates how research on multimodal communication has been presented to the public as a means for connecting communities. He discusses the impact that this research-based exhibition can have through connecting communities and foregrounding stories and experiences of people.  

Booking is not required.                                                               


About the Speaker

Dr Martin Siefkes

Research Associate at University of Technology Chemnitz

Dr Siefkes' research focuses on multimodality in digital media, as well as museums and online exhibitions, connecting approaches from semiotics, linguistics, and digital humanities. He has been a member of the research project MANUACT from 2015 to 2018. He co-edits the journal Zeitschrift für Semiotik and co-founded the Digital Humanities section of the German Semiotics Society.