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Museums and Digitalism

  • Tula GianniniEmail author
  • Jonathan P. Bowen
Chapter
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)

Abstract

The distinguishing characteristic of digitalism is its focus on human behavior in cultural and social contexts. When we think of the developments of computer science and “information theory” that spawned the digital revolution, the focus generally defaults to digital tools and technology, as opposed to its effects on human life and culture and how advances in computing, digital communications and technology are transforming our ways of doing, seeing, knowing, learning, living and loving, to name a few examples. The impact of digitalism is all encompassing, touching all disciplines and human pursuits. How will museums change and transform themselves to connect in authentic ways with their communities while remaining relevant in a world transformed by digital culture that is moving full speed ahead, advancing in a state of constant change and development? While museums have been cautious and relatively slow to challenge traditional ways, they are surely noticing that we are reaching a digital tipping point of sorts that demands digital thinking and strategy to keep pace with evolving states of digital being, aesthetics, seeing and identity in world where everyone is connected to an all-encompassing digital ecosystem of shared networks and platforms. Although museums might argue that this shift to digital culture steeped in a user-centric model might be a costly one, not moving in this direction with a sense of timeliness becomes a far riskier strategy, being one that lacks consonance with museum audiences, and is out of synch with contemporary and digital life. This chapter looks at the relationship between external digital life of museum goers with the internal museum environment aligned more with the pre-digital world than with contemporary culture. How will museums recalibrate the gap between the visitors’ digital self and the museums physical identity? And, how will they revision the gallery experience for visitor learning, interaction, and participation? Will museums proceed fearlessly into digital life and art, embracing change, and the digital aesthetics and social milieu of the 21st century?

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of InformationPratt InstituteNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.School of EngineeringLondon South Bank UniversityLondonUK
  3. 3.Southwest UniversityChongqingChina

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