From elsewhere to everywhere

Evolving the distributed museum into the pervasive museum

Authored by: Vince Dziekan , Nancy Proctor

The Routledge Handbook of Museums, Media and Communication

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138676305
eBook ISBN: 9781315560168
Adobe ISBN:


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There was a time when the museum existed “somewhere”; however, the digital economies of the Internet Age have reframed museums, their value, collections, and associated curatorial practices. As museums find themselves approaching a postdigital horizon, this chapter embraces the challenge of redefining the museum in relation to the distinctive cultural conditions that have emerged from the convergence of its spatial practices and mediatisation. The process of transitioning from a phase of digital “adoption”—illustrated by theorisations of “the distributed museum”—to postdigital “adaption” opens up both fresh possibilities and inevitable institutional challenges. In this expanded field, representative forms of curatorial programming—cultural curating, artist-led projects, and cultural storytelling initiatives—illustrate how a redirection of institutional authority and dispersal of curatorial agency characterises a shift leading towards “the pervasive museum.”

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