Nina Simon, author of 2010 reference text The Participatory Museum, is a well know adviser of institutions which are interested on focusing their mission to 2.0 patterns and reconnecting with the public to demonstrate their value and relevance in contemporary life. In this post, we would like to introduce some hints of her interesting and necessary, in our opinion, approach of this way of understanding Culture.
Towards this goal, we have already begun to examine in some others past posts how this active participation of the onlooker is becoming something stronger than a tendency to become an undeniable fact which shows the necessity of the spectator to leave the traditional passive role as consumer to assume a new model of behavior and attitude closer to what is called Prosumer, in other words, producer and consumer as an inextricable link.
Simon invite us to think on how and when the museums started to join this logics due to the new social context we are involved, and which kind of devises or premises they are following according to the need of stablishing bridges with their audiences.
Nevertheless, it is usual a kind of confusion between new technologies and Real Change. As Seb Chan, Smithsonian Director for new media department states, while innovation is a synonym for social change and new cultural aspirations, the concept technology is not always implicated with real change. It is necessary the, to take into account the different profiles of our general publics. As Simon said in her The Participatory Museum, we shall observe what our visitors do in our museum and after that, planning how do we want to dialogue with them.
But challenging these assumptions here, in our state context is a bit more complex. Citizens from USA, which are the basis of consideration for her thesis, are more willing to participate directly and actively on projects involving communities because of cultural reasons. Our reality is quite different so the challenge is greater. But this same reality is what encourage us to recognize that little changes are neccesaries and usually precedes bigger ones.
To modify the perception our publics have about our museums and culture centers to make it understood as an open space for community creation is something tgat requires time and great efforts, but is as well the results of a well done work on a transformation in the way museum directors lead institutional management.
But this topic, management leadership in cultural institutions is a fat content enough for a next post that, I am sure, It wont last to arrive.
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