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On the imaginaries surrounding participatory digital tools in museums

Eva Sandri
Traduction de Armelle Chrétien
Cet article est une traduction de :
Quels imaginaires pour les outils numériques participatifs au musée ? [fr]

Résumé

This paper proposes to question a participatory digital project aimed at enhancing the culture of the community of gypsy women in Arles, through the analysis of the web documentary: Gypsy women of the plane tree quay, set up by the Museon Arlaten, the ethnographic museum of Arles. This reflection questions the way in which a museum sets up a digital system to promote a culture based on the initiatives of this same community. The movement towards participatory mediation through digital technology reflects a desire to update the conditions of cultural democracy. However, the undifferentiated use of the adjective participatory prevents us from thinking about the degree of involvement of individuals and the work of the institution in opening up to its audiences. After an attempt to classify these types of participatory devices, the proposed field study highlights a hybrid project between top-down and bottom-up logics, within a participatory device that really benefits the participants.

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Introduction

1Taking part, becoming an actor, contributing, engaging: promises of participation are clearly at play in the language used by culture professionals, revealing their efforts to forge a privileged connection with the public while actualizing the aims of cultural democracy.

  • 1 Catherine Duchesneau, “De la participation en art. L’Écomusée du fier monde comme alliance entre l’ (...)

2In most cases, the purpose is to endow visitors with a more or less active role, by letting them take part in a project, yet each participatory approach entails its own degree of visitor involvement. The indiscriminate use of the term “participatory” prevents us from reflecting on the nature and degree of visitor involvement, on the public outreach efforts expended by institutions, and on the way these two poles interact. It also obfuscates fundamental questions that arise from presumed values and issues at stake in participatory projects. How does one discriminate between bottom-up initiatives engineered by the public, and top-down initiatives, engineered by the institution? Can these projects lead to a genuine empowerment of individuals1 and if so, how should this empowerment be defined? In this study, participant status and agency come under scrutiny.

3This article sets out to investigate participatory approaches in the cultural field by focusing on two aspects: the varying degrees of involvement within the visitor/institution coupling, and the receptiveness of cultural institutions to the promises of technology-driven participatory tools. The resulting typology aims at a more refined classification and qualification of these projects.

4This paper will then focus on one participatory digital project in particular: a web documentary designed to showcase the culture of Gypsy women in Arles. This participatory web documentary, called Femmes gitanes du quai des platanes (Gypsy Women of the Quai des Platanes), was coproduced by Museon Arlaten (the Museum of Ethnography in Arles) in collaboration with the Catalan Gypsy community residing at the Quai des Platanes, a local neighborhood. This paper investigates the way a museum can set up a digital project to draw attention to a given culture, based on initiatives stemming from that community.

The promises of museum participatory tools

5Our original observation is that the definition of participation often comes up against a lack of precision, summoned as it is by a host of museums aiming to describe extremely varied modes of visitor involvement.

6To shed light on these issues, the present article will explore participatory facilitation projects from two specific angles, namely, the ideal of cultural democracy and technological imaginaries. These two approaches were chosen with respect to the present context, where projects designed to involve visitors correlate with a will to operationalize the aims of cultural democracy. These projects rely on the conviction that citizens can and should take part in local cultural activities. Also notable is the fact that participatory approaches tend to embrace digital devices (embedded technologies or online activities) in the hope of boosting visitor expression. These two imaginaries (one promoting a positive view of digital tools and the other presenting participatory facilitation as an operationalization of cultural democracy) combine into a salvatory imaginary of digital tools in museums.

7The purpose of this article is twofold: first, to classify these devices and draw up a theoretical typology of the notion of participation according to the degree of visitor involvement; second, to provide examples of these participatory devices and of the promises they hold.

Challenges faced by cultural policies

8The participatory model at work in culture relies on the founding principles of cultural policies implemented since 1940: cultural democratization (public outreach and decentralization), as well as cultural democracy (involving communities in cultural life). The “right to culture,” set out in the French Constitution since 1946, suggests that access to cultural content is to be understood in a broad sense and points to the possibility of becoming an actor of cultural life. Since the 1970s, political discourses have favored local engagement in cultural life over the circulation of art, notably through amateur practice. Both proponents of cultural enablement and popular education are now seeking to go beyond the model of “direct access to art” championed by Malraux. However, efforts to let visitors take an active part in the operations of cultural sites are far from being a recent project. Long before the mass spread of technologies and a rhetoric of participation boosted by the promises of Web 2.0., a variety of programs allowed visitors to take part in the life of the institution. This article will focus on two evolutions of the cultural participatory model, first by revisiting the origins of participation, and second by exploring how the imaginaries of digital culture and participation intertwine.

Participatory facilitation: context and history

9Often cast as a revolutionary and innovative idea, the model of public involvement currently at play in museums is far from new. Ecomuseums and rural ethnographic museums have long developed and operated according to a participatory dynamic. But the type of involvement entailed was different from that currently on offer for museum visitors.

  • 2 Olivier Cogne, “Co-construire une muséographie. L’exemple du Musée de la Résistance et de la Déport (...)

10Ecomuseums emerged within an activist context, and have often served as an instrument for social change and empowerment. Georges Henri Rivière defines the ecomuseum as an instrument designed, built, and managed in tandem by an authority and a local population. In villages home to ecomuseums, locals shoulder a variety of professional responsibilities: manning the front desk, facilitation (conducting tours, writing texts for the exhibition), managing collections (locals can donate items) and cultural programing (events, lectures, activities…). The Dauphinois museum still enjoys a participatory modus operandi inspired by ecomuseums. The head of the Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation de l’Isère (Isere Museum for Resistance and Deportation) argues that these heirs to the ecomuseums “have worked together with civil society players, over the past decades, to draw up the museum’s program.”2 Still, the ecomuseum model, closely tied to a specific geographic community, has remained marginal in France. How have participatory models evolved today?

  • 3 Jean-Michel Tobelem, “La gestion des bénévoles dans les musées américains,” Lettre de l’OCIM, no. 7 (...)

11In other parts of the world, alternative models to the ecomuseum base participatory approaches on volunteer and community involvement, raising similar questions about the degree of participant involvement. The American museum model offers a thought-provoking model of involvement based on the figure of the volunteer, allowing us to depart from the European model and to reflect on alternative forms of involvement. Volunteers devote part of their time to museums and can carry out various tasks: manning the front desk, conducting tours, managing the museum shop, or fund-raising.3 The substantial role played by volunteers in American museums greatly departs from the European situation, since volunteers total more than twice American museums’ payroll. In exchange for their investment, volunteers receive a symbolic counter-gift: while no salary is paid, museums organize talks with curators, training programs, and festive events. Visitor involvement in museums is therefore not new, but primarily concerns volunteers and enthusiasts. This article will focus on situations in which the institution reaches out to visitors further removed from the museum scene and encourages them to participate.

  • 4 Cameron, Duncan, “Le musée temple ou forum,” in André Desvallées (ed.), Vagues. Une anthologie de l (...)
  • 5 Dominique Cardon, La Démocratie Internet. Promesses et limites, Paris, Seuil, 2010.

12Lastly, the new museology movement, which came to life in the 1970s, called into question museums’ ability to become a space for a type of social debate likely to challenge the top-down transmission of knowledge and an elitist understanding of culture. Metaphors of the “temple-museum” (closed-off, sacralized) contrasted with a “forum-museum” (open-ended, evolving), both conceptualized by Duncan F. Cameron,4 are used to represent the social uses of the museum. They speak to a desire to rethink museums as places where two images of participatory democracy collide. The term “forum” harks back to the public square where people would gather to debate in Ancient Rome. Current museum professionals are also drawing on similar topological metaphors to define museum uses. Samuel Bausson, digital facilitator at Champs Libres and a member of the Muzéonum community, has blogged about the institutional shift towards the “Lego-museum” or the “bazar-museum,” both terms being used to define participatory museums as a modular space contrasting with the “cathedral-museum.” In this binary opposition reminiscent of the relationship between the temple and the forum, Samuel Bausson references literature on open-access software. These metaphors show that museum professionals have seized on imagery derived from participatory digital technology to foster a modern vision of the network museum, in touch with local communities.5

Digital culture in the face of participatory tools

  • 6 Patrice Flichy, L’Imaginaire d’Internet, Paris, La Découverte, 2001, p. 60.
  • 7 Patrice Flichy, L’Imaginaire d’Internet, Paris, La Découverte, 2001, p. 61.

13While the notion of participation holds a significant place in the democratic debate, it also permeates reflections on digital culture. The promises conveyed by the use of the Internet were originally shaped by the aspirations of the Arpanet community, at a time when Californian counter-culture was involved with online communities. The purpose was to create a space where these communities “would reinforce or replace local communities, and where computerized conferencing afforded the possibility of practicing a collective intelligence.”6 The social and political aspects of this project are critical, insofar as the Arpanet community aimed to “forge the social bond anew […], to revitalize the public debate and democratic life at large.”7

  • 8 Évelyne Broudoux et al., “Auctorialité: production, réception et publication de documents numérique (...)
  • 9 Florence Millerand, Serge Proulx and Julien Rueff, Web Social. Mutation de la communication, Québec (...)

14In the years 2000, the terms “social Web” and “Web 2.0” became popular ways to describe interfaces that allow Internet users to generate content. Blogging platforms and social media that provide flexible and accessible structures where users can edit content are conducive to a position of authorship.8 The social Web is hence defined as “the active participation of users in the online production and dissemination of content.”9 Furthermore, the contributive model embraced by certain platforms (wikis) and the reflection on common goods (open-source software) have encouraged a reflection on digital culture’s ability to foster sharing and exchange. In museums, participatory devices that embrace new technologies, such as transmedia games on social media or writing workshops on wikis, stand at the crossroads of these two imaginaries: the participatory imaginary (thought to foster empowerment) and the digital imaginary (assumed to promote practices of sharing, collective intelligence, and innovation).

  • 10 Eva Sandri, L’Imaginaire des dispositifs numériques pour la médiation au musée d’ethnographie, PhD (...)
  • 11 Joëlle Le Marec, “La participation. Pour un retour au politique en muséologie et dans le domaine ‘s (...)
  • 12 Sébastien Appiotti and Eva Sandri, “‘Innovez ! Participez !’ Interroger la relation entre musée et (...)

15Like the worlds of media and politics, the museum scene strongly subscribes to the participatory model and to the values attached to digital culture.10 This participatory turn intersects with museums’ digital, communicational, and marketing strategies: “The expansion of participation into a museography that involves the visitor but is void of any political dimension is recent: it coincides with the development of digital-based approaches.”11 Evolutions in participation must then be correlated with cultural institutions’ use of digital technologies. New players have developed an injunctive discourse promoting digital-based participation, built on imaginaries foreign to the museum scene. This is the case regarding network and community utopias, or the participatory culture among fans of serial objects.12

  • 13 Sébastien Appiotti and Eva Sandri, “‘Innovez ! Participez !’ Interroger la relation entre musée et (...)

16At the same time, a global injunction to embrace digital technologies has emerged in cultural spaces, backed by two main imperatives: one promoting innovation through permanent change, and the other championing creative participation.13

17Because participatory devices are so numerous and because they entail varying levels of visitor involvement, the following section of this paper sets out to describe them more precisely. The following classification of devices sorts initiatives according to the status granted to participants and to the degree of institutional involvement.

Proposed typology of participatory devices

Consultative devices

18Consultatory devices are designed to collect the public’s opinion on a project or an existing activity. Various approaches can be used, including surveys, beta testing, participatory budgeting, and user committees. An example of this can be found with the History Museum in Marseille, which recently set up a space where visitors could vote for their favorite choice among a list of the city’s buildings. The results of the vote then had an impact on the restoration of the chosen building. In the same way, the participatory budgeting process in Paris lets locals vote for one of several projects in relation to their daily lives. Participation remains limited, however, because inhabitants are merely choosing their favorite project, and have not developed a prior reflection on the various propositions in tandem with elected officials, as is the case in other situations where citizens effectively act as an engine force. In this type of consultative device, the degree of public participation depends on the protocol in place. Depending on each case, visitor perspective can be conveyed through a quick online vote or, alternatively, involve the expression of a detailed and well-thought-out opinion on a precise usage. These systems are also a way for communities to better grasp the codes of cultural action and feel involved. On the institution’s part, the aim is to anticipate the public’s expectations, and to put out projects likely to spark participation.

Visit-enhancing tools

19Museum websites and social media accounts often display and relay visitor productions in connection with their visit, such as photographs of artworks or blog articles (exhibition reviews). Museum selfies posted on Twitter, Instagram, and blogs are a surging trend. The Museum Selfie Tumblr contains countless photographs of visitors posing in front of artwork. Among these photographs, some are spontaneously taken by on the part of visitors, whereas others, like those taken as part of picture contests, are initiated by institutions. In the second case, visitors are asked to take pictures of themselves during their visit, and agree to communicate their image—in association with the museum’s—to the institution. The institution, for their part, aim to allow more casual behaviors in exhibition rooms, often accompanied by a desacralized relationship to art.

  • 14 Joëlle Le Marec, Publics et musées. La confiance éprouvée, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2007, p. 151.

20Interestingly, few of these endeavors are initiated by the public. Visitors are urged to follow instructions provided by the institution, and seldom decide on the nature of their own involvement: “When they write something in the exhibition […] it’s mostly a matter of filling in boxes. Visitors recognize the place allotted to them in the discourse by the enunciator.”14

Collection operations

21Collection operations encourage visitors to provide different types of items that will enrich the exhibition. An example of this is the McCord Museum in Montreal, which calls on visitors to describe the images in their collection by tagging pictures on their online documentary library, thereby providing non-expert metadata that helps the museum understand visitors’ relationship to artwork. The purpose of these collection operations is threefold: fostering a privileged relationship between the public and the museum by showcasing visitor contribution; documenting collections; involving visitors so that they feel concerned by questions of heritage. By showcasing visitor production, the museum hopes that notions of collection and heritage will become more meaningful to them.

22These projects are not solely initiated by cultural institutions. They can indeed also be designed by other structures, as with the “Wiki Loves Monuments” project. This contest aimed to enrich the photographic database of heritage sites by inviting Internet users to upload pictures to Wikimedia Commons. This type of project is part of a reflection on the sharing of common goods.

23Lastly, crowdfunding has been used by museums as a way to appeal to visitors to raise funds in order to acquire or renovate items in museum collections. At the MUDO-Musée de l’Oise, crowdfunding helped restore Thomas Couture’s painting L’Enrôlement des volontaires. In exchange for their participation, visitors can take part in events that strengthen their bond with the museum. Donators might be invited to the opening of a show, get behind-the-scenes access to the museum or engage with conservators and restorers. The involvement is greater in this case than in the example of consultative approaches. For the institution, asking visitors to provide elements from their personal experience requires that museums be ready to welcome visitor productions, accept their subjectivity, and guarantee a counter-gift.

Collaborative writing devices

24Collaborative writing devices refer to a type of collaboration between professionals and nonprofessionals, whose result is then used by an institution. This is the case of the Wikipedia-Centre Pompidou project, a series of workshops in which visitors (Wikipedia contributors) and Centre Pompidou professionals work together on the information cards in exhibition rooms. This kind of collaboration between professionals and nonprofessionals sheds light on situations where contextual documents relative to artwork are produced by people from outside the institution. In contrast to previous examples where visitors filled in designated spaces in the exhibition, this is a process in which visitors can assume the role of “amateur facilitators.”

25Visitor involvement is greater in this case than in the three systems mentioned above. This last procedure nevertheless requires greater flexibility on the museum’s part, since it must be open to visitor expertise and accept their personal take on the exhibition, even when it departs from the institutional discourse.

26This classification of participatory devices, ranked by degree of public and institutional involvement, accounts for a variety of projects, many of which rely on technology. These projects are broadly circulated online, via institutional websites and social media. Discourses of this kind promote a fusion of the imaginaries of digital culture and participation in museums that hinges on values of collaboration and empowerment. This highlights the close relationship between the digital imaginary and the participatory imaginary.

27Based on an analysis of Femmes gitanes du quai des platanes, this article now turns to how a contemporary museum has adjusted to the promises of technology in participatory projects and navigates the symbolic heritage of ecomuseums.

Exploring the specificity of participatory web documentaries: Femmes gitanes du quai des platanes

Giving a voice to the people involved

28The web documentary Femmes gitanes du quai des platanes aims to showcase the social identity and memory of the Catalan Gypsy community in Arles, and reveals, through a variety of testimonies, the culture and way of life of Gypsy women.15 The women portrayed describe elements of their intangible cultural heritage, such as traditional cooking recipes or aspects of their daily lives (childcare, household tasks) and their distinctive know-how.

29The project Partage de mémoires gitanes (Passing On Gypsy Memory) is defined by the proponent institution as a participatory project, to the extent that it aims to:

assist participants in researching, identifying, and showcasing the memory and culture of the Gypsy community in Arles through a process of ethnographic investigation and collection. […] The participatory and cooperative approach lets us engage the Gypsy community, citizens, and various professionals impacted by this project, from the onset of the initiative and throughout its process. In connection with an education outreach program and with assistance from the nonprofit Petit à Petit, a group of Gypsy women reflected on ways to showcase their own culture. These women are the actors and producers of this web documentary (Excerpt from an interview with the head of Museon Arlaten’s public outreach department, 2014).

30Our analysis of this web documentary is based on an ethnographic survey conducted at the Museon Arlaten (the Museum of Ethnography in Arles) in connection with the public outreach department in charge of coproducing the web documentary. The corpus is made up of interviews with the head of the outreach department, of participant observation within the outreach department, and of a thematical analysis of the documentary.

  • 16 Paveau, Marie-Anne, “Parler du burkini sans les concernées. De l’énonciation ventriloque,” La Pensé (...)
  • 17 Paveau, Marie-Anne, “Parler du burkini sans les concernées. De l’énonciation ventriloque,” La Pensé (...)
  • 18 Marie-Anne Paveau, “Le discours des locuteurs vulnérables. Proposition théorique et politique,” Cad (...)
  • 19 Eva Sandri, Les Imaginaires numériques au musée. Débats sur les injonctions à l’innovation, Paris, (...)

31It results from the analysis of the collected data that the project boasts two distinctive features: it was initiated by its contributors and these contributors effectively benefited from the production. In the light of the above typology, the project simultaneously falls into several categories: collection, cooperation, and collaborative writing. The decision to portray these daily lives stemmed from a conversaticon with the women of the Gypsy community. It was the Gypsy women who decided to speak and who chose the topics they wished to address. This ensured that the project would not stigmatize the culture of the people involved and would avoid the questionable device of ventriloquist enunciation.16 Indeed, putting a given culture on display in a museum whilst failing to give a voice to the those involved and to diversify authorized speakers, would suggest what linguist Marie-Anne Paveau terms “ventriloquist enunciation,”17 wherein the museum speaks on behalf of others, and defines the nature of the debate. Interestingly, museums have sought to be increasingly inclusive on this matter, but have often struggled to give a voice to discriminated or vulnerable people,18 and to debate these issues.19

32Furthermore, unlike other participatory projects based on digital media, participants derive a number of advantages from taking part in the web documentary: their testimonies are showcased on a website which also lists their resumes, with a view to advancing their professional integration. Their degree of involvement is hence substantial, and the museum has shown a genuine effort in giving thought to a symbolic counter-gift to reciprocate participants in return for their time and accounts.

From editorial choices to social outreach

33The web documentary is divided into four main chapters that depict the history and the architecture of the Quai des platanes neighborhood as well as the way of life of the participants: “The Neighborhood,” “A Day in the Life,” “Cooking,” “Women’s Lives” (see illustration 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1

Homepage of the web documentary.

Photo credit: les Ornicarinks & Association Petit à Petit.

34Each chapter is in turn divided into subsections containing stories in the form of photos and videos. The chapter called “Women’s lives,” for instance, is made up of four subsections describing the ages of life and the care provided to other members of the community: “Family,” “Children,” “Marriage,” “School,” and “Outdoor activities.”

Figure 2

Figure 2

Chapter: “Women’s Lives.”

Photo credit: les Ornicarinks & Association Petit à Petit.

35The chapter “A Day in the Life” shows a typical day in the life of the participants. It includes photos and videos that chronicle key moments of the day: taking the children to school, cleaning, cooking meals, gathering around the fire in the evening… In each of these stories, the women are in charge of depicting the specificity of their daily lives, as well as their relationship to the cultural heritage and history of Catalan Gypsies in Arles. This production choice stands in stark contrast to devices where an outside speaker (reporter, host, ethnologist) talks on behalf of those chiefly concerned.

Figure 3

Figure 3

Chapter 3: “A Day in the Life.”

Photo credit: les Ornicarinks & Association Petit à Petit.

36This editorial choice is also manifest in the graphic options embraced by the web documentary. The visual display of the subchapter “Cooking” (see illustration below) features one of the web documentary’s participants smiling and looking into the camera, a wooden ladle in her hand. This type of image, centered upon the participant, can also be found in other sections of the web documentary. In terms of image composition, the participants are placed front and center. On the other hand, the institutional identity of the project proponents (Museon Arlaten and Association Petit à Petit) is more subdued.

Figure 4

Figure 4

Subchapter: “Cooking.”

Photo credit: les Ornicarinks & Association Petit à Petit.

  • 20 Henri-Pierre Jeudy, La Machine patrimoniale, Belval, Circé, 2008.

37This story-telling project initiated by local women, which brings together cultural and social outreach efforts, is an example afforded by the Museon Arlaten that lets us discriminate between devices where participation is limited and long-term devices more attuned to inhabitants’ aspirations. According to the museum’s outreach department, this project also demonstrates a broadening of the social memory displayed in the museum, in that the museum now embraces populations under-represented by former curators,20 such as Gypsy cultures or the heritage of railway-workers. The museum has sought to distance itself from the notion of a mythical Provence, rural and Catholic, championed by Frederic Mistral (the museum’s founder), highlighting instead the other cultures present across the area.

  • 21 Henri-Pierre Jeudy, La Machine patrimoniale, Belval, Circé, 2008, p. 11.
  • 22 Alban Bensa, La Fin de l’exotisme. Essais d’anthropologie critique, Toulouse, Anacharsis, 2006.

38Lastly, beyond Provençal culture, “the very principle of transmission is conveyed as a collective act and duty,”21 turning the museum into an instrument designed to showcase the social memory of less represented and valued communities. The goal is to offer a critical distance on Provençal traditions in a way that helps to identify contemporary resonances, going counter to the notion of Provençal customs as fixed in the past. This reflexive process entails a reconsideration of the way society museums present local traditions, since the purpose of Museon Arlaten isn’t so much to champion these traditions as to demystify the discourses which endow them with an ancestral and unmoving existence. This micro-historical approach—seeking to register shifts, evolutions, and repetitions in societies through past and present times—is reminiscent of an anthropologist’s stance, wherein microsocial investigations and the quest for singularity22 serve as ways to nuance generalizing approaches with a structuralist, culturalist, or holist view.

39Moreover, the presence of digital technologies in this project is a mere technical solution that makes it possible to collect, archive, and circulate the web documentary’s content. The technologies used are not specifically permeated by technophile and salvatory notions.

40This field study sheds light on a hybrid project, combining top-down and bottom-up approaches within a participatory project which effectively benefits its participants. As such, it reveals another use of digital-based participatory devices: in a departure both from traditional ecomuseums and technological solutionism, the present example presents an ethnographic museum seeking to remain attuned to inhabitants and to be a vehicle for social connections between various communities.

Conclusion

  • 23 Julie Denouël, Fabien Granjon et Aurélie Aubert, Médias numériques et participation. Entre engageme (...)

41Confronted with a participatory imaginary promising “a broadening of the exclusive circle of authorized speakers,”23 a majority of museums are now trying to make themselves open to dialogue and to evolve simultaneously with their users by operating in close connection with local communities. This desire translates into a wide variety of degrees of visitor and institutional involvement in participatory devices.

  • 24 Paul Rasse, “La médiation, entre idéal théorique et application pratique,” Recherche en communicati (...)
  • 25 Sébastien Appiotti and Eva Sandri, “‘Innovez ! Participez !’ Interroger la relation entre musée et (...)

42In many cases, the participatory devices put forth by museums are bound up with a salvatory conception of digital culture. The technologies supporting participatory projects have raised hopes of success for cultural democratization policies. The idea that technological innovation could foster a second chance for the ideal of cultural democratization was already conjured by Paul Rasse in the years 2000, when he predicted that technologies within museums would “raise hopes of solving practical problems where others have failed.”24 The result is a fusion of the imaginaries of digital culture and participation in museums that hinges on values of collaboration and empowerment. The enthusiasm raised by the generalization of certain manifestations of digital culture in museums has revived notions of public outreach as well as the values of cultural democratization policies. This injunctive call to digital participation (whether implicit or explicit) is present across a number of cultural sites in France.25

  • 26 Eva Sandri, “Le repositionnement du métier de médiateur au musée face aux enjeux de la culture numé (...)

43However, these approaches do not exclude a form of critical distance on behalf of professionals reluctant to automatically partake in the participatory trend, and who have instead sought to reflect on possibilities (technological or other) to include visitors in processes—thereby adjusting their own approach in the face of an injunctive context.26 This is the case for the participatory project at Museon Arlaten, designed to showcase the culture of Gypsy women. The museum provides participants with a counter-gift which concludes the participatory apparatus, which is not the case for all of the systems reviewed.

44As to the participatory museum’s ability to induce a shift in the dividing line between professionals and nonprofessionals, to promote forms of empowerment or modify long-established hierarchical processes, the variety of systems muddles any clear-cut answer. It can nevertheless be said that the individuals who partake in participatory outreach devices are often passionate museum-goers or insiders to the world of museums and culture. Their cultural capital is substantial. Participatory devices are also generally initiated by cultural institutions (top-down initiative) rather than by visitors themselves (bottom-up). There are more cases of museums providing standardized frameworks that allow for visitor participation than spaces where visitors can spontaneously express their aspirations. This does not however exclude the presence of bridges between these different worlds nor the implementation of spaces that make room for dialogue, when projects are implemented regularly and over the long-term.

45As a result, the impact of participatory devices should not be judged in the light of a single action, but should be investigated over the long-term, to determine if significant participatory skills are developed among the public.

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Paveau, Marie-Anne, “Parler du burkini sans les concernées. De l’énonciation ventriloque,” La Pensée du discours, 2016. [Online] http://penseedudiscours.hypotheses.org/4734 [accessed 30 December 2016].

Paveau, Marie-Anne, “Le discours des locuteurs vulnérables. Proposition théorique et politique,” Cadernos de Linguagem e Sociedade, no. 18.1, 2017, p. 135-157.

Rasse, Paul, “La médiation, entre idéal théorique et application pratique,” Recherche en communication, no. 13, 2000, p. 38-68.

Sandri, Eva, “Le repositionnement du métier de médiateur au musée face aux enjeux de la culture numérique,” Études de communication, no. 46, 2016, p. 71-86.

Sandri, Eva, L’Imaginaire des dispositifs numériques pour la médiation au musée d’ethnographie, PhD dissertation in information and communication sciences, Université d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse – Université du Québec à Montréal, 2016.

Sandri, Eva, Les Imaginaires numériques au musée. Débats sur les injonctions à l’innovation, Paris, MkF, 2020.

Nina, Simon, The Participatory Museum, 2010. [Online] http://www.participatorymuseum.org/read/ [accessed 30 December 2020].

Tobelem, Jean-Michel, “La gestion des bénévoles dans les musées américains,” Lettre de l’OCIM, no. 75, 2001. [Online] http://doc.ocim.fr/LO/LO075/LO.75%282%29-pp.06-10.pdf [accessed 30 December 2020].

SOURCES

Web documentary, Femmes gitanes du quai des platanes. [Online] http://www.ornicarinks.fr/pages/multimedia.html [accessed 10 May 2020].

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Notes

1 Catherine Duchesneau, “De la participation en art. L’Écomusée du fier monde comme alliance entre l’art et la participation citoyenne,” Émulations, no. 9, 2011. [Online] https://ojs.uclouvain.be/index.php/emulations/article/view/5483 [accessed 7 March 2022]; Nina Simon, The Participatory Museum, 2010. [Online] http://www.participatorymuseum.org/read/ [accessed 7 March 2022].

2 Olivier Cogne, “Co-construire une muséographie. L’exemple du Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation de l’Isère,” Revue de l’observatoire des politiques culturelle, no. 40, 2012. [Online] http://www.observatoire-culture.net/rep-revue/rub-article/ido-441/co_construire_une_museographie_l_exemple_du_musee_de_la_resistance_et_de_la_deportation_de_l_isere.html [accessed 10 January 2015].

3 Jean-Michel Tobelem, “La gestion des bénévoles dans les musées américains,” Lettre de l’OCIM, no. 75, 2001. [Online] http://doc.ocim.fr/LO/LO075/LO.75%282%29-pp.06-10.pdf [accessed 30 December 2020].

4 Cameron, Duncan, “Le musée temple ou forum,” in André Desvallées (ed.), Vagues. Une anthologie de la nouvelle muséologie, Mâcon/Savigny-le-Temple, W/MNES, 1992.

5 Dominique Cardon, La Démocratie Internet. Promesses et limites, Paris, Seuil, 2010.

6 Patrice Flichy, L’Imaginaire d’Internet, Paris, La Découverte, 2001, p. 60.

7 Patrice Flichy, L’Imaginaire d’Internet, Paris, La Découverte, 2001, p. 61.

8 Évelyne Broudoux et al., “Auctorialité: production, réception et publication de documents numériques,” in Roger T. Pédauque (ed.), La Redocumentarisation du monde, Toulouse, Cépaduès, 2005.

9 Florence Millerand, Serge Proulx and Julien Rueff, Web Social. Mutation de la communication, Québec, Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2010, p. 114.

10 Eva Sandri, L’Imaginaire des dispositifs numériques pour la médiation au musée d’ethnographie, PhD dissertation in information and communication sciences, Université d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse – Université du Québec à Montréal, 2016.

11 Joëlle Le Marec, “La participation. Pour un retour au politique en muséologie et dans le domaine ‘sciences et société,’” in Alexandre Delarge (ed.), Le Musée participatif. L’ambition des écomusées, Paris, La Documentation française, 2018, p. 26.

12 Sébastien Appiotti and Eva Sandri, “‘Innovez ! Participez !’ Interroger la relation entre musée et numérique au travers des injonctions adressées aux professionnels,” Culture & Musées, no. 35, 2020.

13 Sébastien Appiotti and Eva Sandri, “‘Innovez ! Participez !’ Interroger la relation entre musée et numérique au travers des injonctions adressées aux professionnels,” Culture & Musées, no. 35, 2020.

14 Joëlle Le Marec, Publics et musées. La confiance éprouvée, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2007, p. 151.

15 Web documentary, Femmes gitanes du quai des platanes. [Online] http://www.ornicarinks.fr/pages/multimedia.html [accessed 10 May 2020].

16 Paveau, Marie-Anne, “Parler du burkini sans les concernées. De l’énonciation ventriloque,” La Pensée du discours, 2016. [Online] http://penseedudiscours.hypotheses.org/4734 [accessed 30 December 2016].

17 Paveau, Marie-Anne, “Parler du burkini sans les concernées. De l’énonciation ventriloque,” La Pensée du discours, 2016. [Online] http://penseedudiscours.hypotheses.org/4734 [accessed 30 December 2016].

18 Marie-Anne Paveau, “Le discours des locuteurs vulnérables. Proposition théorique et politique,” Cadernos de Linguagem e Sociedade, no. 18.1, 2017, p. 135-157.

19 Eva Sandri, Les Imaginaires numériques au musée. Débats sur les injonctions à l’innovation, Paris, MkF, 2020.

20 Henri-Pierre Jeudy, La Machine patrimoniale, Belval, Circé, 2008.

21 Henri-Pierre Jeudy, La Machine patrimoniale, Belval, Circé, 2008, p. 11.

22 Alban Bensa, La Fin de l’exotisme. Essais d’anthropologie critique, Toulouse, Anacharsis, 2006.

23 Julie Denouël, Fabien Granjon et Aurélie Aubert, Médias numériques et participation. Entre engagement citoyen et production de soi, Paris, Mare et Martin, 2014, p. 18.

24 Paul Rasse, “La médiation, entre idéal théorique et application pratique,” Recherche en communication, no. 13, 2000, p. 85.

25 Sébastien Appiotti and Eva Sandri, “‘Innovez ! Participez !’ Interroger la relation entre musée et numérique au travers des injonctions adressées aux professionnels,” Culture & Musées, no. 35, 2020.

26 Eva Sandri, “Le repositionnement du métier de médiateur au musée face aux enjeux de la culture numérique,” Études de communication, no. 46, 2016.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1
Légende Homepage of the web documentary.
Crédits Photo credit: les Ornicarinks & Association Petit à Petit.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2083/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 140k
Titre Figure 2
Légende Chapter: “Women’s Lives.”
Crédits Photo credit: les Ornicarinks & Association Petit à Petit.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2083/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 303k
Titre Figure 3
Légende Chapter 3: “A Day in the Life.”
Crédits Photo credit: les Ornicarinks & Association Petit à Petit.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2083/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 224k
Titre Figure 4
Légende Subchapter: “Cooking.”
Crédits Photo credit: les Ornicarinks & Association Petit à Petit.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/docannexe/image/2083/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 187k
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Référence électronique

Eva Sandri, « On the imaginaries surrounding participatory digital tools in museums »Hybrid [En ligne], 8 | 2022, mis en ligne le 21 avril 2022, consulté le 27 mai 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/hybrid/2083 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/hybrid.2083

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Auteur

Eva Sandri

Eva Sandri is a lecturer in Information and Communication Sciences at the University Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 (LERASS and GRIPIC research teams). Her research focuses on the current issues of cultural mediation and the imaginary of digital devices in museums. She has recently published the book: Les Imaginaires numériques au musée, published by MkF, 2020. She also coordinated the Supplement: “Les injonctions dans les institutions culturelles: ajustements et prescriptions” in the journal: Les Enjeux de l’information et de la communication, in 2019.

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Revue Hybrid

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