“I did not think about that!”: New Media for Stimulating Exhibition Re-interpretation

Teresa Macchia, Lily Diaz-Kommonen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


    This chapter aims to describe how new media tools inspire visitors’ reflection and interpretation of an exhibition. It is also an occasion for the reader to reflect about the role of new media and look at the opportunities it now offers for museum visitors’ to experience unexpected nuances regarding the themes and objects in an exhibition. Our main objective here is to emphasise the interpretive opportunities afforded by new media to the exhibition. How do visitors perceive and reflect about the messages conveyed through new media in an exhibition?

    The discussion is built around a new media project developed for the “Sibelius and the World of Art” exhibition held from 17th October 2014 to 23rd March 2015 at the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland. The exhibition was part of the celebration events marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. A new media work was realized through a design research project organized in cooperation between the Finnish National Gallery, the Ateneum Art Museum, and the Media Lab at Aalto University. The tangible goal of the project, that included the authors of this essay and three Master of Arts students, was to produce an introductory video (in panorama format) for the exhibition.

    The chapter describes different stages of the project focusing on the features of a new media artifact that was created as a tool for stimulating and supporting self-interpretation during the visiting experience. In the first section of the chapter we concentrate on features that we think make the museum a space where people can build on their own perceptions. The focus is on the communication shift provoked by the intensified use of new media in museum spaces. The second and third sections provide information about the “Sibelius and the World of Art” exhibition and the activities conducted in the project for producing the introductory video. In the fourth section of the essay we evaluate the potential for building self-interpretation through a description and discussion of interviews we conducted for reflecting upon the project. Our chapter concludes by summarizing and discussing the outcomes of the research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMedia innovations and design in cultural institutions
    EditorsDagny Stuedahl, Vitus Vestergaard
    Place of PublicationGöteborg
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)978-91-87957-93-2
    ISBN (Print)978-91-87957-92-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books

    Publication series

    NameResearch Antologies


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