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Forms of public participation in mobile apps for visitors: From user representation profile to citizen representation profile

Nicolas Navarro et Lise Renaud
Traduction de Gabriele Stera
Cet article est une traduction de :
Les formes de participation des publics dans les applications mobiles de visite : de la figure de l’utilisateur à la figure du citoyen [fr]

Résumé

This article deals with forms of public participation based on the study of four mobile apps for heritage site’s visitors. Their promotion is based on the promise of a modern, interactive and collaborative relationship with heritage institutions, enabled by the application. While the promise of greater audience participation can be exploited, it is also embedded in the applications’ design through various editorial functionalities, which vary from one app to another. Three models of public/institution communication emerge from this analysis: affective, cognitive and axiological. The user is thus solicited to express his emotions, transmit knowledge or even become involved as a citizen in heritage preservation.

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Texte intégral

  • 1 The notion of renewal is operative in thinking about the transformations linked to digital techno (...)
  • 2 We apprehend the digital interpretation assistance tools deployed by museums and heritage sites (...)
  • 3 Nicolas Navarro and Lise Renaud, “Fantasmagorie du musée: vers une visite numérique et récréativ (...)

1If public participation is not a recent issue within cultural institutions is rooted in cultural democratisation policies, it has been so successful in recent years that it has become an essential element in museum and heritage policies and management. Various initiatives presented as participative approaches capable of weaving a new relationship with the cultural institution are proliferating in heritage sites (Museomix, Hackathons, etc.). Visibility of the public’s contribution meets the deployment of digital tools for cultural mediation in a constructive way. The “renewal” of heritage mediation through digital technology1 has led cultural institutions since the 1980s to increase their production of digital editorial products and to deploy a wide range of computer media2 designed to assist in heritage interpretation (cultural CD-ROM, digital cartels, interactive table, digital models, mobile applications for tours). The deployment of these media is in line with the promise of a transformation of transforming the visitor’s experience due to the modernisation of the communication model of the cultural visit itself. Thus, in promotional statements, the visitor is presented as the “actor” of his visit—as if he was not before—and the visit experience is described as “immersive,” “interactive” and “playful.” Although this mechanical effect is far from proven, it is the basis for the deployment of mobile applications for visits and their promotion.3

  • 4 Yves Jeanneret, Critique de la trivialité. Les médiations de la communication, enjeu de pouvoir, (...)

2In this context, looking at the way in which the relationship with the visitor is defined through the visitor assistant applications can allow us to qualify the way in which institutions conceive public participation dynamics in heritage discourse production. Such an approach acknowledges the relevance of the notion of involvement to grasp mediated interaction. Implication is then to be understood as “the set of specific and practical features that define the possibilities offered to the public to take part in the communication and the circulation of texts.”4 In other words, instead of simply assuming the participatory dimension of self-proclaimed “collaborative” or “participatory” projects, we consider it more relevant to question the way in which a representation of cultural participation can be constructed through the analysis of digital heritage projects themselves. In the case of mobile applications dedicated to visit assistance, what are the relational models proposed to the public? How is the latter involved and what status or functions are attributed to visitors in relation to heritage discourse? Are they given a role in the process of heritage conservation or is the public’s participation only a rhetorical formula aiming at valorising a cultural offer?

  • 5 This selection was made within the framework of the AP-PAT research project (on mobile applicati (...)

3This questioning was put to the test with an exploratory sample5 of mobile application projects for heritage visits, selected for their heterogeneity. It includes a variety heritage types (built, urban, natural; diversity of historical period), territorial scale concerned (monuments in cross-border area), conditions of production and distribution (individual, city or foundation projects). Four applications were selected: the HistoPad of the Palais des papes, Mes calanques, Traverse and Vichy 1939-1945. The following table provides some contextual information for each one of the four cases:

Application name

HistoPad

Mes Calanques

Traverses

Vichy 1939-1945

Sponsoring institution

Palais des Papes / Avignon Tourisme

Parc national des Calanques

Fondation Facim – SIPAL (projet INTERREG V France-Suisse)

Audrey Mallet (PhD in history) and Elodie Mallet

Development company

Histovery

SETAVOO

Mobile Thinking

Acoustiguide

Release date

Autumn 2017

International Day for Biological Diversity

22 mai 2019

European Heritage Days - septembre 2017

January 2019 (released in parallel with the publication of the book Vichy contre Vichy by Audrey Mallet)

Funding

Disposal agreement

INFOPARCS Projects/call for proposals ADEME Initiative PME 2016 “Eau et biodiversité”

European funding (FEDER) and DRACs (Regional Cultural Affairs Directorate) Auvergne Rhône-Alpes et Bourgogne Franche-Comté

Partners: DRAC (Regional Cultural Affairs Directorate), Regional Council of Auvergne-Rhône Alpes, Cultural Affairs Ministry, City of Vichy, RFI, Editions Belin, CIERV, etc.

Distribution

Included in the price of the visit–Devices loaned at the entrance of the visit

Free of charge–Downloadable in app-stores (App Store and Google Play)

Free of charge - Downloadable in app-stores (App Store and Google Play)

Free of charge - Downloadable in app-stores (App Store and Google Play)

  • 6 Yves Jeanneret, Critique de la trivialité. Les médiations de la communication, enjeu de pouvoir, (...)
  • 7 The notion of “screen writing” (écrit d’écran) allows to makes it possible to situate computer s (...)

4The analysis of these applications aims at characterising the communicative models that are embedded in them. In short, the task is to identify the way in which these tools—starting from the interfaces and editorial functions provided in the application—and the narratives supporting them, create a certain representation of cultural participation. Participation is indeed elaborated through a variety of “promises” but also through different “involvement” processes6 (editorial functions, injunctive discourses, etc.). It is therefore not a question of starting from predefined and instituted forms of participation but rather of understanding how this participation is structured and instrumented through this logic of “involvement” of the application’s user. From a methodological point of view, the ethno-semiotic approach of the research concerns both the presentation of the applications (websites, promotional videos, press kits, press releases, descriptions in the download platforms) and the narratives supported by the design of the screen writings.7 The circulating narratives were also completed by an interview campaign these devices’ various contributors (heritage institutions, funders, local authorities, digital companies). The data collected was analysed according to three main axes of involvement: rhetoric (identification of valorisation strategies, recurrent formulas), enunciation within the applications (editorial principles, enunciative postures), representations of the public, relations with heritage and the role of the cultural institution.

  • 8 Joëlle Le Marec, Publics et musées, la confiance éprouvée, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2007; Lucie Daigna (...)
  • 9 Gustavo Gomez-Mejia, Fragments sur le partage photographique. Choses vues sur Facebook ou Twitte (...)

5The analysis thus shows at a first level, in line with research carried out over the last few years in museology in particular,8 that participation and the rhetoric of “sharing”9 constitute a recurrent argument for institutions to position themselves publicly as being in tune with the times and taking their audience(s) into account. At a second level, three forms of involvement could be identified relying on different conceptions of institutional relationships and heritage conservation. They reflect the diversity of the participative projects at work, a diversity that calls for a reconsideration of the communicative models expressed by these applications.

The promise of a transformation of the heritage institution and its audiences

  • 10 The notion of “formula” has been defined by Alice Krieg-Planque as “a set of formulations which, (...)

6Whereas the digital applications we studied are diversified, the rhetoric of their presentation has a certain homogeneity in the foundations of its argumentation. We can notice the recurrence of arguments which are comparable to formulas.10 These can easily be found in the media discourse, but they are also used in interviews with the designers. Of course, the stakeholders in these projects logically orient their arguments in such a way as to highlight the result, namely the digital application—the aim is to promote it—, but the assumptions on which the argument is based show a similarity in the display of a strategy of transformation and institutional renewal.

7The promises that come with the promotion of these applications convey the idea that their use allows a transformation of visiting practices to take place. This editorial product is regularly presented in terms of modernity and innovation: “Offering the HistoPad to each visitor to the Palais […] is to offer the best of modern museography, a true revolution that resolutely transforms the way in which heritage is discovered.”11 As for the Traverse application, it claims to offer “New formats for experiencing culture. Thanks to innovative digital technologies, everyone is invited to create their own visiting experience, using content provided by specialists.”12 And in the press release of Mes Calanques application one can read: “With the release of Mes Calanques, the territory of the National Park affirms itself as a melting pot of innovative solutions for the preservation of biodiversity.”13 These examples seem to show that visit application, through their digital format, almost automatically bring novelty and modernity. This kind of rhetoric has the advantage of building a positive image of the institution (ethos) and of its partners. It is a way of underlining their dynamism, fully in line with the times.

8Moreover, the presence of these computerised media is presented as proof of the attention paid by the institution to its visitors. Indeed, these arguments give an impression of a public that is particularly involved in its visit. The active part played by the public, at the argumentation’s core, is based in the first place on the possibility offered by the application to produce and relay content, to “share” it. Presented in this way as naturally linked to the use of digital media, participation, reduced to editorial contributions and dissemination, is a recurring argument for the valuation of such tools.

9Furthermore, the promise made to the visitors through these interactive tools is to be actively involved in the visit experience and in the management of the mediation contents: the HistoPad application “allows them to live a playful and interactive visit experience”14; “With Mes Calanques, interactivity is key! The application allows to transform a simple visit in the National Park into an act of civic engagement.” The functionalities of the application allow to become “actors of the preservation of the Calanques.”15 Thus, this valorisation rhetoric is built by reversing the model of a “passive” visitor and by highlighting a more actantial communication model where the roles of transmission and reception are redistributed.16 In other words, it is a question of soliciting a communication model that goes beyond transmission (from the sender to the receiver) in order to offer another place to the public. The representation of participation produced by these models, and by these formulas, thus stages the renewal of communication between the institution and its public.

10In addition, these applications are integrated into a project to rethink cultural policies. These tools make it possible to simultaneously pursue a double objective: they are intended for all audiences and for each individual. They respond to the cultural democratisation demand of “culture for all” and “culture for everyone,” and are presented as being designed for all audiences while being adapted to each visitor. For example, in the presentation of HistoPad, the quotation from Cécile Helle, mayor of Avignon, which oversees the presentation of the tool, is based on the inclusive nature of the device:

Nowhere else in the world can we find a solution that brings together on a single medium so many features to serve all audiences. The HistoPad is the complete tool for a modern and efficient popularisation of knowledge. We are proud today to be the first to make it available to all, in the wake of a cultural agenda as demanding as it is generous.17

11A few lines later, however, emphasis is placed on the individuality of visitors: “The HistoPad is a touch-sensitive tablet that is given to each visitor.”18 Similarly, the Traverse promotional website states that “everyone can experience an exciting journey through the ages,” and then that “Traverse is accessible in one click to all-time travellers ready for boarding.”19 These examples reveal the capacity of these tools to convey a message on global accessibility to culture while simultaneously promoting the individualisation of heritage practice.

  • 20 In comparison, the media coverage of the Vichy 1939-1945 application is limited. The application st (...)

12In this representation, the audience, active and individualised, is designated in a generic way as a visitor or citizen (Traverses or Mes Calanques), but above all as a “user.” The application Vichy 1939-1945,20 thus refers to the audience exclusively as users of the tool. Aimed at taking a guided tour of Vichy or reading archive documents, the use of the application defines the visitor-reader as a user. This designation inscribes de facto this cultural practice in the register of the use of a tool. In short, the performance of the application, its simplicity of use and its ergonomics are a guarantee of the quality of the activities and heritage mediation proposed.

  • 21 For example, the website manager uses the same structure to study ticketing statistics.

13All of these rhetorics highlight the way in which the institution considers its audience and tries to get them involved. However, behind the generic categories aiming at a global outreach, the promotion of each visit application does indicate a certain prior knowledge and conception of its audience. At this level, the study of these narratives shows a disparity of editorial choices that reflect different ways of materialising the audience’s involvement. The discourse surrounding HistoPad, for example, indicates a particular attention to foreign visitors, children and audiences with disabilities. This segmentation seems to be based on the adaptation of the content of the application to the logic of the tourism and management policy of the heritage site21 (translation into seven languages; game for children and accessibility). The categorisation logic of the “audience” in the promotion of Mes Calanques application is quite different. It is based on the construction of “thematic communities” defined according to their outdoor practices (“climbing, diving, hiking”). The participation becomes then dependent on affinities of practices but also on a degree of attachment to the heritage site.

14The promise conveyed by the application projects analysed is therefore based on an argument stating both a transformation of the practices of the cultural visit and a modification of the ethos of a “modernised” institution. However, going further than the sole statement of these two elements’ renewal, can we examine more precisely their specific relationship, as envisaged by the developers and inscribed in the application’s design?

Forms of involvement: participation axiology

  • 22 Nathalie Heinich, Des valeurs. Une approche sociologique, Paris, Gallimard, 2017.

15Beyond the identification of the communication elements, the coupled analysis of the application’s interfaces and their supporting narratives bring to light the figuration of the relationship between the institution and its audience. This relationship, although rarely qualified as “participative,” nonetheless orchestrates the involvement of the different stakeholders. Beyond the multiplicity of functionalities at work, this relationship appears to be inscribed in a diversity of value systems that underpin the individual’s relationship to art,22 culture and heritage.

An affective relation to the institution: the emotional register

16A first modality for figuring the involvement is based on a sensitive relation between the institution and its audience. It is a matter of keeping track of an expression of the public’s perceptions and emotions. The mobile application is mobilised as an editorial space that encourages expression, sharing of emotions, publication of reactions to the cultural heritage. It therefore aims to compensate for the institution’s lack of understanding of the visitors’ sensitive feedback, as expressed by the Parc National des Calanques team:

  • 23 April 28, 2020, interview with the Communication Director of the Calanques National Park.

The emotion part, that’s something we didn’t have but we wanted to push forward. The idea, the objective of the Calanques National Park, is to try to provoke emotions of ‘nature’, to persuade people of the usefulness of biodiversity preservation, through emotion.23

17This “emotional” functionality is highlighted in the promotional campaigns by putting forward the possibility to “share [one’s] emotions.” Thus, in Mes Calanques’s application, the functionalities presented as participative (“I participate” section), allow to share “an opinion or a feeling” in a sub-section entitled “I feel.” In this comment section, we can also notice that the first element of the fill-in form is dedicated to add a photograph.

Figure 1b

Figure 1b

The “Je participe” (I participate) section and the “Je questionne” (I ask a question) form of Mes Calanques.

  • 24 André Gunthert, L’Image partagée. La photographie numérique, Paris, Textuel, 2015.
  • 25 Camille Alloing and Julien Pierre, Le Web affectif. Une économie numérique des émotions, Bry-sur (...)

18Photography appears to be the favoured medium for expressing and sharing emotions within the computerised media.24 This functionality can be found in Histopad where the Histomaton allows, on the model of the photo-booth, to take a customized picture of oneself in a historical decor, and to send the image by e-mail in order to share it. This reliance on emotion aims to keep track of the visit and to share it as a sensible experience. This logic is in line with the “visit experience” standpoint, specific to museology, while giving an important place to the emotional or “affective” logic, close to that of the social media of digital industries.25

Figure 2

Figure 2

Screenshot of the HistoPad’s Histomaton functionality.

19The expression of emotions also takes the form of expressing one’s satisfaction with the visit, with the application, but also, through them, with the institution.

  • 26 Jacqueline Eidelman and Mélanie Roustan, “Les études de publics: recherche fondamentale, choix d (...)

20This process can take many forms: in Histopad, the public is invited to write their opinion in the manner of a guest book (accessible on the application at the end of the visit to the Palais du Papes). In other cases, users are asked to “give their opinion” (Vichy 1939-1945), to share their “impressions” (Traverse), or to rate the application on the stores’ platforms (Google Play Store, App Store). While the topic of satisfaction has become a new paradigm in audience research (so-called “satisfaction” studies), it reflects above all the demand for performance in cultural and heritage institutions, in response to the growing importance of new public management models.26 But the rating system also represents a system for interaction writing within digital platforms.

Figure 3b

Figure 3b

Expression of satisfaction features in Traverse and HistoPad.

  • 27 Gustavo Gomez-Mejia, “Fragments sur le partage photographique. Choses vues sur Facebook ou Twitter, (...)

21Therefore, this figuration of a sensitive and affective relation between the institution and its public is inscribed at the same time in the institutional dynamics of the cultural and patrimonial world and in the logic of computer-based media writing. It highlights an understanding of participation essentially coincident based on the idea of “sharing” (sharing an emotion, a satisfaction), which tends to “euphemize and euphorize content production and distribution.”27 This conception of participation, related to the generic figure of the “user” or to the mirage of the “general public,” orchestrates a sensitive relationship with heritage and its accessibility to all.

A cognitive relationship with the institution: the register of knowledge

22In addition to the emotional content provided by the audience, sometimes considered “anecdotal” by the institutional teams during the interviews, the applications allow for the implementation of a second form of relationship between the institution and the audience: a cognitive one, involving an exchange of knowledge.

23All of the applications we studied provide the user with a set of informative contents (texts, photographs, archival images, videos, etc.) related to the heritage site. This feature is often the first to be highlighted in promotional campaigns, with the purpose of encouraging heritage discovery: “discover the exceptional heritage of the National Park” (Mes Calanques), the application “is rich in illustrations and interesting topics” (Vichy 1939-1945), “presentations of places, objects, events or characters” (Traverse). However, beyond the mere figure of the visitor as a receiver of heritage content, the applications provide other ways of exchanging knowledge with the institution.

  • 28 Presentation of Traverse application on the App Store

24Involvement of the user then mostly implies the acknowledgement of the legitimacy of the knowledge disseminated by the institution, an acknowledgement orchestrated by the diffusion and editing of contents by the public itself. By sharing content provided by the institution, the user in fact acknowledges its legitimacy. Circulation is possible at a first level by disseminating content directly from the interface of the applications to the social media or by e-mail (Traverse, Vichy 1939-1945). At a second level, the editing of content is made possible by the creation of playlists, as is the case for the Traverse application: “Keep in mind the stories you like, arrange the cards you liked according to your preferences and save them for later use.”28 From existing content made available, users can select relevant elements and thus, through the playlists created and made accessible to all, create a new narrative on heritage.

Figure 4b

Figure 4b

Editing features in Vichy 1939-1945 and Traverse.

25Beyond this possibility of re-editing, applications are developed to allow users to contribute and produce their own content and knowledge about heritage. This logic of “crowdsourcing,” which has been used for many decades in heritage institutions, has been renewed by computer-based media. Beyond the mere relay diffusion of information, the public becomes a potential co-producer of the knowledge presented in the application. The user can thus offer “information feedback” or “propose ideas” for the Parc national des Calanques, “enrich the information already available with additional knowledge, linked to his own local expertise, in relation to the contents of partners” in the case of Traverse.

26However, on closer analysis, this functionality seems to suffer from the maintenance of a top-down approach on the part of the institutions, which maintain a role of moderation of the shared content. This moderation role is carried out through a distinction between public and private content, as in the Calanques National Park: “We also have a lot of private feedback, perhaps even more than public feedback. People who do not necessarily want their information to be shared in public, and who only want to share it with us.”29 At the same time, it is also a question of keeping a clear editorial line: “The user can freely explore the shared Geneva memory, while being ‘protected’ by an editorial coherence”30 (Traverse).

  • 31 Jean Davallon, “À propos des régimes de patrimonialisation: enjeux et questions,” Patrimonialização (...)

27In contrast to the affective relationship to the institution, which participates to a generalised representation of the public, the register of knowledge seems to invite a more personalised relationship to heritage. By placing the personal expertise of each user’s personal expertise at the heart of the relational connection, this cognitive relationship to the heritage institution gives an insight into social appropriation of heritage by communities, in an ascending movement of heritage production.31

An axiological relationship to the institution: the register of values

  • 32 Joëlle Le Marec shows that, in opposition to the prevailing discourse on a feeling of mistrust towa (...)
  • 33 Jacqueline Eidelman and Mélanie Roustan, “Les études de publics: recherche fondamentale, choix de p (...)

28On a final level, it is possible to identify another type of relationship between the institution and its public. This one is built on a relationship of trust,32 on a space of dialogue and reflexivity. It places the relationship to heritage in “an axiological universe as a world of values, ethics and civics, of commitment, of reflexivity…”33

  • 34 Étienne Candel “Participer, faire participer: le pouvoir ambigu des formes textuelles,” opening con (...)

29Indeed, mobile applications are used by some institutions to promote dialogue with their public, but also between different publics. It is particularly the case of Mes Calanques, for which the construction of thematic communities (hikers, divers, etc.) is thought with the purpose of encouraging dialogue between peers, between citizens who are members of these communities, but also to allow a specific communication directed towards these groups. This will to establish a dialogue can be seen in the staging of an enunciation in the plural form, that is to say “the semiotization of a shared enunciation”34 in the interface of the application itself. As we can see, there is a frame dedicated to the users’ questions, and the answers of the Calanques National Park is displayed in a distinct background. This public exchange can then be commented by other users.

Figure 5

Figure 5

The staging of shared enunciation in Mes Calanques.

  • 35 September 25, 2020, Interview with the founder and manager of Setavoo, development agency of the ap (...)

30In the case of the application Mes Calanques, this dialogue functionality continues and reinforces a pre-existing practice of reciprocal e-mail exchanges or telephone calls. But, above all, this feature seems to be implemented by a development agency (Setavoo) that focuses on so-called “citizen” applications. The heritage application resonates here with attempts to implement participatory democracy methods and to strengthen relations between citizens and administrations: “We thought that there was a market that would emerge for these tools, which make the dialogue easier, more constructive, and allow citizens and stakeholders to be involved in the broadest sense.”35

  • 36 April 28, 2020 interview with the director of communications for Calanques National Park.
  • 37 Duncan Cameron, “Le musée: un temple ou un forum [1971], in André Desvallées (ed.), Vagues. Une an (...)

31This dialogue is designed to serve a reflexive logic. It is about allowing individuals, users, to think about the role they play in the preservation of their heritage. “And finally the objective is to allow the citizen to be confronted with a certain number of things”36 (Mes Calanques). The objective seems to be thereby to involve the user—considered here as a “citizen”—in a reflection on the common values that he or she shares with the institution, based on common reflection (evoked by the idea of “being confronted” in the previous quote) between the institution and the citizen. This logic is reminiscent of the theoretical approaches taken by the recent museology around the models of the eco-museum. But it also recalls the ideal type of the forum-museum evoked by Duncan Cameron as a place for debate through the confrontation of different points of view and experimentation.37 It therefore places the question of heritage on a political level—which is highlighted by the use of the term “citizen”—and questions its place at the heart of the development and preservation of common goods.

Conclusion: a research object at the intersection of professional cultures

32The promises and implications conveyed by the implementation of mobile visitor applications appear to involve the values associated with heritage and cultural institutions.

  • 38 Duncan Cameron, “Le musée: un temple ou un forum [1971], in André Desvallées (ed.), Vagues. Une an (...)

33These applications, which were first observed as spaces of enjoyment or sensitive experience, then as tools for learning and sharing knowledge, also have an ethical and political value. In this respect, these applications put into question the distribution of expertise and the power relationships between institutions and citizens. This is precisely stated by the team of the Parc National des Calanques: “People can express themselves, they can bring things to our attention. It’s their initiative and it’s very good. They help us to manage the territory in a certain way.”38

  • 39 Laurajane Smith, Uses of Heritage, Abingdon/New York, Routledge, 2006; Rodney Harrison, Heritage. C (...)

34A number of studies on the process of heritage development—in particular the critical heritage studies movement39—have shown how the acknowledgement of heritage can be the object of power conflicts. In this respect, participatory dynamics can appear as the mere reproduction of a dominant position on the part of decision-making structures. The analysis of these applications does not exclude the possibility of this first scenario, but it also invites us to go beyond the idea of a single instrumentalisation of participatory processes.

35The case studies in this research show that the creation of visit interfaces and their technical implementation affect participatory dynamics by generating participatory models and naturalizing participation.

36But this analysis also indicates that the professional culture of the various stakeholders—in particular development agencies—seems to play a role in the participatory imaginary established by the application. In the case of the Mes Calanques application, developed by a company familiar with participatory issues and citizen applications, the participatory project meets both the will of the National Park and the approach of the digital industry. In other cases, the integration of an application into a research project (a doctoral thesis for Vichy 1939-1945 or an INTERREG project for Traverse) is part of a dynamic of shared knowledge circulation.

  • 40 Pascale Trompette and Dominique Vinck, “Retour sur la notion d'objet-frontière,” Revue d'anthropolo (...)

37It therefore seems even more relevant to take into account the context of design, production and distribution of these applications in order to better understand the “participatory project” that each one carries. In short, the projects associated with the development of these applications establish the framework for a convergence of multiple professional fields (heritage, digital, tourism, politics, etc.). Considering these applications as “objets-frontière”40 (border objects) seems to offer an interesting angle for research, allowing us to go beyond sterile oppositions between professional backgrounds, in order to better understand what is at stake in these crossings.

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Le Marec, Joëlle, Publics et musées, la confiance éprouvée, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2007.

Navarro, Nicolas and Renaud, Lise, “Modalités d’expression numérique de l’identité muséale: entre tournant participatif et commercial,” in Regourd, Martine (eds.), Marques muséales. Un espace public revisité ?, Paris, L.G.D.J./lextenso éditions, “Colloques & Essais,” 2018, p. 271-285.

Navarro, Nicolas and Renaud, Lise, “Fantasmagorie du musée: vers une visite numérique et récréative,” Culture & Musées, no. 35, 2020, p. 133-163.

Pianezza, Nolwenn, Navarro, Nicolas and Renaud, Lise, “Pour une archéologie de l’injonction: leitmotivs dans la presse autour des projets numériques patrimoniaux,” Les Enjeux de l’information et de la communication, no. 20.3, 2019, p. 27-38.

Smith, Laurajane, Uses of Heritage, Abingdon/New York, Routledge, 2006.

Souchier, Emmanuël, Candel, Étienne and Gomez-Mejia, Gustavo, Le Numérique comme écriture. Théories et méthodes d’analyse, Paris, Armand Colin, 2019.

Trompette, Pascale et Vinck, Dominique, “Retour sur la notion d’objet-frontière,” Revue d’anthropologie des connaissances, vol. 3, no. 1, 2009, p. 5-27.

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Notes

1 The notion of renewal is operative in thinking about the transformations linked to digital technology over a long period of time. Namely, not in a logic of rupture but as working from the existing. Renewal allows us to underline the fact that “new phenomena are not born de novo.” Cf. Caroline Angé and Lise Renaud, “Les écritures émergentes des objets communicationnels. De la rénovation,” Communication & langages, vol. 174, no. 4, 2012, p. 35-39.

2 We apprehend the digital interpretation assistance tools deployed by museums and heritage sites as computer media, as defined by Y. Jeanneret. This notion has the advantage of insisting on their media dimension and on their computerised functioning.

3 Nicolas Navarro and Lise Renaud, “Fantasmagorie du musée: vers une visite numérique et récréative,” Culture & Musées, no. 35, 2020, p. 133-163.

4 Yves Jeanneret, Critique de la trivialité. Les médiations de la communication, enjeu de pouvoir, Paris, Non Standard, 2014, p. 12.

5 This selection was made within the framework of the AP-PAT research project (on mobile applications for visits to heritage sites: archaeology, polychrasy, mediation), a reply to the internal multidisciplinary call for projects (APPI 2020) of the Université Lumière Lyon 2, coordinated by Nicolas Navarro. [Online] https://elico-recherche.msh-lse.fr/programme/ap-pat-applications-mobiles-de-visite-de-sites-patrimoniaux [accessed 15 September 2020].

6 Yves Jeanneret, Critique de la trivialité. Les médiations de la communication, enjeu de pouvoir, Paris, Non Standard, 2014.

7 The notion of “screen writing” (écrit d’écran) allows to makes it possible to situate computer science in its filiation with the practices of writing and reading. Cf. Emmanuël Souchier, Étienne Candel and Gustavo Gomez-Mejia, Le Numérique comme écriture. Théories et méthodes d’analyse, Paris, Armand Colin, 2019.

8 Joëlle Le Marec, Publics et musées, la confiance éprouvée, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2007; Lucie Daignault and Bernard Schiele (dir.), Les Musées et leurs publics, savoirs et enjeux, Québec, Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2014; Noémie Couillard, Les Community managers des musées français. Identité professionnelle, stratégies numériques et politique des publics, PhD thesis, Université d’Avignon, 2017.

9 Gustavo Gomez-Mejia, Fragments sur le partage photographique. Choses vues sur Facebook ou Twitter, Communication & langages, vol. 194, no. 4, 2017, p. 41-65.

10 The notion of “formula” has been defined by Alice Krieg-Planque as “a set of formulations which, because of their use at a given moment and in a given public space, crystallise the political and social stakes that these expressions contribute at the same time to construct.” Cf. Alice Krieg-Planque, La Notion de formule en analyse de discours. Cadre théorique et méthodologique, Besançon, Presses Universitaires de Franche-Comté, 2009.

11 [Online] https://avignon-tourisme.com/activites/palais-des-papes/ [accessed 15 September 2020].

12 Presentation of Traverse app on the Facim foundation website: [online] https://fondation-facim.fr/fr/le-pays-dart-et-dhistoire/grands-projets/archives/patrimoine-en-partage-2 [accessed 15 September 2020].

13 Press conference held on May 17, 2019.

14 [Online] http://www.palais-des-papes.com/fr/content/histopad-pour-tous [accessed 15 September 2020].

15 [Online] http://www.calanques-parcnational.fr/fr/application-mobile-officielle-mes-calanques [accessed 15 September 2020].

16 Étienne Candel, L’Œuvre saisie par le réseau, Communication & langages, no. 155, 2008, p. 99-113.

17 [Online] http://www.palais-des-papes.com/fr/content/histopad-pour-tous [accessed 15 September 2020].

18 [Online] http://www.palais-des-papes.com/fr/content/histopad-pour-tous [accessed 15 September 2020].

19 [Online] https://www.traverse-patrimoines.com/app/ [accessed 15 September 2020].

20 In comparison, the media coverage of the Vichy 1939-1945 application is limited. The application stores and the websites presenting the book Vichy contre Vichy, une capitale sans mémoire, written by Audrey Mallet, are the main publication spaces for promotional information on the Vichy 1939-1945 mobile application.

21 For example, the website manager uses the same structure to study ticketing statistics.

22 Nathalie Heinich, Des valeurs. Une approche sociologique, Paris, Gallimard, 2017.

23 April 28, 2020, interview with the Communication Director of the Calanques National Park.

24 André Gunthert, L’Image partagée. La photographie numérique, Paris, Textuel, 2015.

25 Camille Alloing and Julien Pierre, Le Web affectif. Une économie numérique des émotions, Bry-sur-Marne, Ina Éditions, “Études et controverses,” 2017.

26 Jacqueline Eidelman and Mélanie Roustan, “Les études de publics: recherche fondamentale, choix de politiques et enjeux opérationnels,” in Jacqueline Eidelman, Mélanie Roustan and Bernadette Goldstein (eds.), La Place des publics. De l’usage des études et recherches par les musées, Paris, La Documentation française, 2007, p. 36.

27 Gustavo Gomez-Mejia, “Fragments sur le partage photographique. Choses vues sur Facebook ou Twitter,” Communication & langages, vol. 194, no. 4, 2017, p. 44.

28 Presentation of Traverse application on the App Store

29 April 28, 2020, interview with the director of communications for Calanques National Park.

30 [Online] https://ulrichfischer.net/2019/05/20/lancement-de-raconte-moi-geneve/ [accessed 15 September 2020].

31 Jean Davallon, “À propos des régimes de patrimonialisation: enjeux et questions,” Patrimonialização e sustentabilidade do património: reflexão e prospectiva, Lisboa, Portugal, 2014. [Online] https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01123906 [accessed 15 September 2020].

32 Joëlle Le Marec shows that, in opposition to the prevailing discourse on a feeling of mistrust towards institutions, the public surveys she has carried out reveal that the public has confidence in the museum institution. Cf. Joëlle Le Marec, Publics et musées, la confiance éprouvée, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2007.

33 Jacqueline Eidelman and Mélanie Roustan, “Les études de publics: recherche fondamentale, choix de politiques et enjeux opérationnels,” in Jacqueline Eidelman, Mélanie Roustan and Bernadette Goldstein (eds.), La Place des publics. De l’usage des études et recherches par les musées, Paris, La Documentation française, 2007, p. 36.

34 Étienne Candel “Participer, faire participer: le pouvoir ambigu des formes textuelles,” opening conference of the training course L’enseignement des lettres et les TICE for academic Inspectors and regional pedagogical Inspectors (IA-IPR) at the École supérieure de l’éducation nationale (ESEN), Poitiers, March 27 and 28 2008.

35 September 25, 2020, Interview with the founder and manager of Setavoo, development agency of the application Mes Calanques.

36 April 28, 2020 interview with the director of communications for Calanques National Park.

37 Duncan Cameron, “Le musée: un temple ou un forum [1971], in André Desvallées (ed.), Vagues. Une anthologie de la nouvelle muséologie, vol. 1, Macon-Savigny-le-Temple, W M.N.E.S, 1992, p. 77‑98.

38 Duncan Cameron, “Le musée: un temple ou un forum [1971], in André Desvallées (ed.), Vagues. Une anthologie de la nouvelle muséologie, vol. 1, Macon-Savigny-le-Temple, W M.N.E.S, 1992, p. 77‑98.

39 Laurajane Smith, Uses of Heritage, Abingdon/New York, Routledge, 2006; Rodney Harrison, Heritage. Critical approaches, Abingdon/New York, Routledge, 2013.

40 Pascale Trompette and Dominique Vinck, “Retour sur la notion d'objet-frontière,” Revue d'anthropologie des connaissances, vol. 3, no. 1, 2009, p. 5-27.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1a
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2010/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 27k
Titre Figure 1b
Légende The “Je participe” (I participate) section and the “Je questionne” (I ask a question) form of Mes Calanques.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2010/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 26k
Titre Figure 2
Légende Screenshot of the HistoPad’s Histomaton functionality.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2010/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 23k
Titre Figure 3a
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2010/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 25k
Titre Figure 3b
Légende Expression of satisfaction features in Traverse and HistoPad.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2010/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 31k
Titre Figure 4a
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2010/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 34k
Titre Figure 4b
Légende Editing features in Vichy 1939-1945 and Traverse.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2010/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 41k
Titre Figure 5
Légende The staging of shared enunciation in Mes Calanques.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2010/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 43k
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Référence électronique

Nicolas Navarro et Lise Renaud, « Forms of public participation in mobile apps for visitors: From user representation profile to citizen representation profile »Hybrid [En ligne], 8 | 2022, mis en ligne le 21 avril 2022, consulté le 27 mai 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/2010 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/hybrid.2010

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Auteurs

Nicolas Navarro

Nicolas Navarro is a lecturer in Information and Communication Sciences at the Université Lumière Lyon 2, and a member of the ELICO laboratory (EA 4147).  His work focuses on territorial communication, through an ethno-semiotic approach of cultural objects and beings, and their mediation. The aim is to take a comprehensive look (ethnography by interviews, socio-semiotics) at the communicative processes that allow the circulation of territories in their social, political and cultural aspects. Since 2020, he has been coordinating the AP-PAT project, which is dedicated to understanding and reporting on the articulation between political, economic and symbolic issues of digital heritage applications. 

Lise Renaud

Lise Renaud is a lecturer in information and communication sciences at Avignon University and a member of the Centre Norbert Elias (UMR 8562). Her work focuses on the promises related to digital and heritage and on the ways in which they are inscribed in promotional discourses and in screen texts’ design. Adopting a socio-semiotic approach, her work aims to identify the processes of mediatisation and visual figuration involved in the practice of computer-based media. In 2019, she coordinated three field research projects on the HistoPad of the Popes’ Palace, allowing to expose both the design’s political dimension and the complexity of the appropriations of this assistance device.

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Revue Hybrid

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