Kylie Budge


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.


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: 10.32891/jps.v3i3.534.
Author Biography

Kylie Budge, Western Sydney University

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.


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