How Can Artists and Designers Working with Museums and Collections Contribute to the Notion of Active Citizenship?

Cleverly, Jason (2013) How Can Artists and Designers Working with Museums and Collections Contribute to the Notion of Active Citizenship? In: Inclusive Museum, 22 April 2013, Copenhagen.

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Abstract / Summary

In recent years there has been an increasing use and diversity in the deployment of new forms of interpretation
in museums. These initiatives designed to reveal aspects of collections; stimulating audience response through
experimental participatory systems, artistic readings and pervasive technologies. These initiatives may also be seen as agents designed to serve museum agendas of widening and extending participation. This paper examines through a
series of selected contrasting examples, how interpretation in a range of forms might be seen to actively arm the museum
visitor to exploit the contained represented cultural currency, inspire wider discourse amongst themselves and others, encouraging creativity through engagement. Examples include, Interactive Worktable and Escritoire, Jason Cleverly/Tim Shear; Dr. Johnson’s House, London, UK, 2009; The Toolshed, Cathy Miles, Guildhall Museum. Rochester, UK 2010. This paper will discuss and trace the development of a project scheduled for completion in early 2013. Working with the Foundling Museum, London, silversmith Alex Monroe is examining Foundling tokens; small eclectic objects that form a poignant record of a child’s admission to the Hospital. By examining aspects of visitor affordances, and subsequent visitor conduct engendered. The paper reveals evidence of positive mediation of interpretation from curator to artist/designer to visitor. This mediation represents a significant transfer of authorship that may be seen as a mechanism for active wider engagement. This is particularly evident in participatory systems that involve the creation of contributory content and aim to allow meaningful engagement. The relationships between curator, artist/designer and visitor are analysed in terms of
their capacity to empower visitors to create active and flexible discourses with objects, collections, other visitors and the wider public. Affording some tentative conclusions on strategic implications for designers and artists working in this arena.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: Jason Cleverly
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2013 14:19
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2014 11:58
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/1

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