researcher, teacher and a curious person...

Master thesis (graduated 2006)

keywords: museum, disruption, audiotour, visitor, content creation, eavesdropping

My master thesis, "Provocative tactics in the museum territory", investigates the possibilities of disrupting the museum experience as a way to promote a more critical approach of the visit. The study started with an in-depth theoretical study of the relations between authority, disruption and critical thinking in the museum environment. In response, I derived the "Word-of-Mouth" concept, a configuration of the museum environment that allows the viewer of a museum exhibit to overhear previous spectators of the same exhibit.

"Word-of-Mouth" consists of a recording and a playback mechanism. To facilitate comment capturing, I introduced a "social audio tour" unit with integrated recording capabilities: Pairs of visitors record themselves (without awareness) via a mobile recording unit particularly promoted as an audio tour for pairs. Collected comments are played back to the following visitors by means of the "extended audio tour", instances of audio tours that bring together the official museum text and the visitors comments.

Recoding and playback sessions of "Word-of-Mouth" were possible thanks to the aid of Naturalis, the National Museum of Natural History in Leiden. The case study demonstrated the extent and quality of the captured comments, rich both in content and emotion, as well as an appreciation of this material by the following visitors.

Read more:
NODEM-08 publication (pdf)
NODEM-08 presentation (pdf)
Related links:
Project description at the Media Technology website
Related projects
word-of-mouthWord-of-Mouth (2006)