Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer

Visitors in immersive museum spaces and Instagram: self, place-making, and play

Abstract

Visitors to museums are increasingly drawn to posting images online that document and reflect their experience. Instagram, as a social media platform, has a proliferating presence in this context. Do different kinds of public spaces within the museum motivate people to share particular types of posts? What kind of posts do visitors generate from digitally immersive spaces with an interactive focus? These questions were unpacked through an exploration of data generated from a digitally immersive, interactive public space – the Immersion Room at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. Findings indicate that constructs of self, place-making, and play constitute critical components of what occurs, and these aspects are amplified in immersive spaces leaving digital traces within social media. I argue that the intersection of immersive digital environments and visual social media platforms such as Instagram offer a moment to play with and subtlety reconstruct the self with place being a significant contextual frame for this activity. Implications extend and challenge perceptions and the role of both museums as public spaces and the ways in which visual forms of social media intersect with spaces and the people who use them.

Published:
Pages:121 to 138
Section: Systems
How to Cite
Budge, K. (2018) “Visitors in immersive museum spaces and Instagram: self, place-making, and play”, The Journal of Public Space, 3(3), pp. 121-138. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v3i3.534.

Author Biography

Western Sydney University
Australia Australia

Dr Kylie Budge researches the intersections between people and technology and society. She has an interest in how these connections manifest to produce new knowledge about communication and cultural practices. Kylie is Senior Research Fellow (Urban Living & Society) at Western Sydney University in Sydney, Australia. Previously she worked in the GLAM sector at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney. She has published in a range of journals, books, blogs, and other online media, and is a devoted Instagram user.

References

Arias, Maria (2018). ‘Instagram Trends: Visual Narratives of Embodied Experiences at the Museum of Islamic Art’. Paper presented at MW18: Museums and the Web conference, Vancouver, Canada, 18-21 April.

Ash, James (2015). The Interface Envelope: Gaming, Technology, Power, London: Bloomsbury.

Ash, James (2017). Space, Time and the Politics of Smart Objects, London: Bloomsbury.

Australian Directors Guild (2011). Submission to the National Cultural Policy, October 2011. http://creativeaustralia.arts.gov.au/assets/Australian_Directors_Guild.pdf

Barnes, Susan, B (2006). ‘A Privacy Paradox: Social Networking in the United States’, First Monday 11 (9). http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue11_9/barnes/index.html

Bennett, Tony (1995). The Birth of the Museum, London: Routledge.

Boeije, Hennie (2010). Analysis in Qualitative Research, Sage: London, England.

Boyd, Dana (2007). ‘Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life’ in David Buckingham (ed.) MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning – Youth, Identity, and Digital Media Volume, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 119-142.

Brouwer, Joke & Mulder, Arjen (2003). ‘Introduction’ in Joke Brouwer & Arjen Mulder (eds.), Information is Alive, Rotterdam, Netherlands: nai0 10, 4–7.

Bruns, Axel & Burgess, Jean (2011). ‘The Use of Twitter Hashtags in the Formation of Ad Hoc Publics’. Paper presented at the 6th European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, 25-27 August.

Budge, Kylie (2017). ‘Objects in Focus: Museum Visitors and Instagram’, Curator: the Museum Journal, 60 (1), 67-85.

Budge, Kylie & Burness Alli (2018). ‘Museum Objects and Instagram: Agency and Communication in Digital Engagement’, Continuum, 32 (2), 137–150.

Burness, Axel (2016). ‘New Ways of Looking: Self-Representational Social Photography in Museums’ in Theopisit Stylianou-Lambert (ed.) Museums and Visitor Photography: Redefining the Visitor Experience, MuseumsEtc, 90–127.

Butler, Judith (2008.) Gender Trouble, New York, London: Routledge. Original work published 1990.

Carah, Nicholas (2014). ‘Curators of Databases: Circulating Images, Managing Attention and Making Value on Social Media’, Media International Australia, 150, 137-142.

Coffey, Amanda & Atkinson, Paul A. (1996). Making Sense of Qualitative Data, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Cooper Hewitt (2015). ‘Participate in the Immersion Room Instagram Contest’. https://www.cooperhewitt.org/2015/02/02/announcing-the-immersion-room-instagram-contest/

Corbin, Juliet & Strauss, Anslem (2008). Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Cresswell, Tim (2004). Place: A Short Introduction, Malden: MA. Blackwell.

de Souza e Silva, Adriana (2006). ‘From Cyber to Hybrid’, Space and Culture, 9 (3), 261-278.

Dudley, Sandra (2010). Museum Materialities: Oobjects, Engagements, Interpretations, London and New York: Routledge.

Evans, Brad & Giroux, Henry (2015). Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle, San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books.

Ferrara, Emilio, Interdonato, Roberto & Tagarelli, Andrea (2014). ‘Online Popularity and Topical Interests through the Lens of Instagram’. Paper presented at Proceeding of HT’14, 25th ACM conference on Hypertext and Social Media, Santiago, Chile.

Frith, Jordan & Kalin, Jason (2016). ‘Here, I Used to Be: Mobile Media and Practices of Place-based Digital Memory’, Space and Culture, 19 (1), 43-55.

Gane, Nicholas & Beer, David (2008). New Media: The Key Concepts, Oxford, England: Berg.

Goffman, Erving (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Garden City, New York: Doubleday Anchor.

Haimson, Oliver, Andalibi, Nazanin & Pater, Jessica (2016). ‘Ethical Use of Visual Social Media Content in Research Publications’, Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services. https://www.ahrecs.com/uncategorized/ethical-use-visual-social-media-content-research-publications

Hjorth, Larissa (2015). ‘Narratives of Ambient Play: Camera Phone Practices in Urban Cartographies’ in Marcus Foth, Timo Ojala & Martis Brynoskov (eds.), Citizen’s Right to the Digital City edited, Springer Science+Business Media, Singapore, 23–36.

Hjorth, Larissa (2016). ‘Mobile Art: Rethinking Intersections Between Art, User Created Content (UCC), and the Quotidian’, Mobile Media & Communication, 4 (2) 169–185.

Hjorth, Larissa & Hendry, Natalie (2015). ‘A Snapshot of Social Media: Camera Phone Practices’, Social Media + Society, April-June, 1-3.

Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean (1992/2003). Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge, London: Routledge.

Humphreys, Lee (2015). ‘The Qualified Self: Social Media and the Accounting of Everyday Life’. Paper presented at Media@Sydney Seminar, University of Sydney, NSW, 22 June.

Humphreys, Lee, Gill, Phillipa, Balachander, Krishnamurthy & Newbury, Elizabeth (2012). ‘Historicizing New Media: a Content Analysis of Twitter’. Paper presented at International Communication Association Annual Conference.

Jaakkola, Elina & Alexander, Matthew (2014). ‘The Role of Customer Engagement Behavior in Value Co-Creation’, Journal of Service Research, 17 (3), 247–261.

Massey, Doreen (1994). Place, Space, and Gender, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Massey, Doreen (2005). For Space, London, England: Sage.

Miller, Harvey & Goodchild, Michael (2015). ‘Data-driven Geography’, GeoJournal, 80 (4), 449–461.

Milnes, Hilary (2016). ‘The Instagram Effect: How the Platform Drives Decisions at Fashion Brands’, Digiday. https://digiday.com/marketing/beyond-likes-instagram-informing-fashion-brands-internal-decisions/

Mioli, Teresa (2015). ‘Screens, Not Physical Media, Dominate Culture Robert Picard Tells ISOJ Audience’, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, The University of Texas at Austin. https://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/00-16051-screens-not-physical-media-dominate-culture-robert-picard-tells-isoj-audience

Neuman, Lawrence (2000). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, 4th ed, Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

O’Brien, Heather & Toms, Elaine (2008). ‘What is User Engagement? A Conceptual Framework for Defining User Engagement with Technology’, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59 (6), 938–955.

Pink, Sarah (2013). Doing Visual Ethnography, 3rd ed, London, UK: Sage Publications.

Pink, Sarah & Hjorth, Larissa (2014). ‘Maps of Emplaced Visuality: Reconceptualising Camera Phone Practices in the Age of Locomotive Media’ in Gerard Goggin & Larissa Hjorth (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media, Routledge, New York, NY, 488–513.

Richards, Lyn (2010). Handling Qualitative Data, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rose, Gillian (2012). Visual Methodologies, 3rd ed, London: Sage.

Rose, Gillian (2016). ‘Rethinking the Geographies of Cultural ‘Objects’ Through Digital Technologies: Interface, Network and Friction’, Progress in Human Geography, 40 (3) 334–351.

Russo, Angelina, Watkins, Jerry, Kelly, Lynda & Chan, Sebastian (2008). ‘Participatory Communication with Social Media’, Curator: The Museum Journal, 51 (1) 21–31.

Russo, Angelina, Watkins, Jerry, Kelly, Lynda & Chan, Sebastian (2006). ‘How will Social Media Affect Museum Communication?’ Paper presented at Nordic Digital Experience in Museums (NODEM 06), Oslo, Norway.

Schnall, Simone, Hedge, Craig & Weaver, Ruth (2012). ‘The Immersive Virtual Environment of the Digital Fulldome: Considerations of Relevant Psychological Processes’, Human-Computer Studies, 70 (8), 561–575.

Shaw, Joe & Graham, Mark (2017). Our Digital Rights to the City, Meatspace Press.

Smithsonian (2017). www.si.edu.

Sparacino, Flavia (2004). ‘Scenographies of the Past and Museums of the Future: From the Wunderkammer to Body-Driven Interactive Narrative Spaces’. Paper presented at Multimedia ’04, 12th annual ACM international on multimedia, 72–79.

Suess, Adam (2014). Art Gallery Visitors and Instagram, Master’s thesis, University of Arts London, London. https://www.academia.edu/12086365/Art_Gallery_Visitors_and_Instagram

Tuan, Yi-Fu (1977). Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Warfield, Katie (2014). ‘The Treachery and the Authenticity of Images’, TEDxKPU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jho-2IZ_tnE

Wigley, Mark (2016). ‘Discursive Versus Immersive: the Museum as the Massage’, Stedelijk Studies, 4, http://www.stedelijkstudies.com/journal/discursive-versus-immersive-museum-massage

Winkin, Yves & Leeds-Hurwitz, Wendy (2013).Erving Goffman, New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
Open Access Journal
ISSN 2206-9658