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Democratising the Museum

Reflections on Participatory Technologies

Edited By Pille Runnel and Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt

Democratising the museum is a collection of articles reflecting upon the problem of how participation, technologically mediated or not, can support the museum in the process of becoming more accessible. The open museum shares power with its visitors while negotiating professionalism and the role of the museum in a modern society. The book looks at the roles and struggles of audiences/visitors and professionals and the role of digital technologies in supporting the participatory museum. While different chapters draw on a variety of empirical examples, the main analytical backbone of the book comes from an extended participatory action research study conducted at the Estonian National Museum. This book aims at both academics and professionals working in the museum field.
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Happily Lost in Virtual Space?

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Happily Lost in the Virtual S pace?

Nico Carpentier

1. Introduction

Nine exhibitions that had run in the Muhka between May 2000 and February 2002, were given a slot on the “Muhka 2000 2001” cd-rom. On this cd-rom, which was self-produced (with the aid of QuickTimeVR), a simulation of the three-dimensional museum space was created. The visitor to the cd-rom thus can move amongst one or more series (of interlinked photographic) representation(s) of the museum. This virtual walk could take him (or her) up to the roof of the Muhka (Figure 2), where he can enjoy the panorama. Or he could view the spaces in their every-day manifestations,1 from lift doors to fire extinguishers (Figure 3). The basic reason for creating this walk is to display the nine exhibitions, and to enable the visitors to interact with the contents of the museum.2 The former director of the museum says the following in this regard:

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