Talking Deeper about Cultural Difference: A Digital Interactive from Melbourne

Abstract. The Talking Difference Portable Studio from the Immigration Museum in Melbourne, Australia provides a unique example of an installation that facilitates intercultural dialogue beyond the walls of the museum. The Studio is a custom-designed digital interactive that tours public libraries, schools, and community centers, encouraging participants to engage with one another’s ideas about racism and […]

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Listening to People Listening to Music: Lessons for Museums

Abstract. The language people use to talk about something can constrain as well as facilitate understanding. This essay explores the lessons learned through a study of how people talked about music to examine what it can mean for museums and museum experiences. The study itself had people talk about their interest, background, and ways of engaging […]

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The Museum Experience: Mapping the Experience of Fine Art

Abstract. How do visitors to fine art museums experience exhibitions? Can we classify their experiences? What are the factors that drive different types of visitor experience? We set out to answer these questions by analyzing from sociological, psychological, physiological, and behavioral perspectives the responses of 576 visitors to a special exhibition 11: 1 (+ 3) = Eleven […]

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Research to Practice: Observing Learning in Tinkering Activities

Abstract. As tinkering and making spaces proliferate in museums, many researchers, practitioners, funders, and policy-makers seek to understand what constitutes learning-through-tinkering. To support discussion of tinkering-based learning, the Exploratorium sought to articulate and refine a valid, evidence-based definition of learning in its permanent on-floor Tinkering Studio. We studied and made videos of fifty learners and their […]

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Democracy for Export: Museums Connect Program as a Vehicle of American Cultural Diplomacy

Abstract. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and facilitated by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) through the Museums Connect program, Identities: Understanding Islam in a Cross-cultural Context is an exercise of community development and public inclusion from the perspective of cultural diplomacy. The 2009–10 project was a cooperative endeavor between the Museum of History […]

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Co-Curation as Hacking: Biohackers in Copenhagen’s Medical Museion

Abstract. In 2012, the University of Copenhagen’s Medical Museion collaborated with members of the local DIY biology community to create a DIY biology lab and event series. This article discusses the project and the hacker movement more generally with reference to two current museum trends: first, the opening up of museums through external collaborations, for instance […]

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Creating Discursive Space for Intercultural Encounters: La Casa Encendida, Madrid

Abstract. As increasingly heterogeneous museum audiences seek to participate actively in museum discourses, a new question arises: who is included in the conversation? This article extends that question to cultural-spatial production, and seeks to illuminate key players’ roles in creating spaces that welcome marginalized groups in order to facilitate intercultural encounters. It argues that inclusive, discursive […]

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