Museum ValkhofSkinner*s Box
Children should be exposed to as many impressions as they can cope with until they are 10-12 years old: that is, if we follow the logic from the fact that this is the period when the brain is most open to incentives.
Stimulated frequently and multilaterally the brain will develop a more open, lively and flexible way of thinking. Therefore, generating a wide variety of experiences is crucial for the well functioning of a society: indeed, children are the engine room, the depot, and the future capital.
As a byproduct of an increasing globalism, our world today seems to grow smaller instead of bigger; through an increasing emphasis on fundamentalism and a growing sense of fear and insecurity, we seem to voluntary give up the freedom which has been developed as one of the achievements of our democratic society. With consequences that we might be able to imagine, but are -yet- unknown.
Skinners Box (1) is a three-dimensional, scaled-down copy of its surrounding museum space into which the visitor is invited to enter.
With its shrunken sizes of 14 meters long, 4 meters wide, 1.50 meters high, this model - 2/3 smaller than the actual space - is built to accommodate the height of the average height of children of 10-12 years, thus allowing different visitors a very different experience of scale...that of a child or a giant.
For the whole duration of the show, this space is the space of and for the children. They have been working with the artists, and have developed ideas about what the concept of freedom may mean for them, and they have been invited to contribute to this space by exhibiting those ideas to this free space, which will eventually form the depot of freedom.
The collection, growing in time, will form the direct expression of their enormous potential.
(1) Skinners Box is indebted to scientist B.F. Skinner, who developed a box to study behavior. His research is not undisputed and surrounded by myth and ambiguities.