The Remediation of the MUM App: Reconfiguring the Museum and its Socio-cultural Politics

Herman, Ana-Maria Aurora. 2016. The Remediation of the MUM App: Reconfiguring the Museum and its Socio-cultural Politics. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This research study traces the ‘remediation’ (Bolter and Grusin, 2000) of a ‘digital’ display, the McCord Museum’s MTL Urban Museum App, exploring the role of digital media technologies, among other heterogeneous actors, in ‘reconfiguring’ (Suchman, 2007) subjects, objects, practices and spaces while inspecting the socio- cultural politics of these processes. Drawing on a theoretical framework that brings together new media studies, actor-network theory, feminist writing in science and technology studies, the sociology of art and spatial studies, this thesis traces how the App was remediated and examines how it is used in practice. The study first investigates how the App was (re)made by looking at the actors involved. The thesis unveils emerging relations between the Museum and commercial organisations, technology platforms, infrastructures, collections and visitors; and the competing social, cultural, economic and political interests among these heterogeneous actors shows a changing set of negotiations in the Museum’s display practices. Next the study examines how the App is used in two novel practices: viewing collections in ‘augmented reality’ and managing the App’s display using Google Analytics. In examining how the App is used in practice, the thesis also reveals the App’s role, among other (unexpected) actors, in precariously rescripting and/or reclassifying objects, subjects and practices, as well as reordering and rewriting urban spaces. By exploring the role of the App along with these other actors in such practices and processes the thesis also looks to contribute to particular debates on agency.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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Actor-network theory, museums, apps, remediation

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30 November 2016

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Date Deposited:

04 Jan 2017 11:47

Last Modified:

31 Dec 2022 02:26


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