By Michelle Henning
Museums can paintings to breed ideologies and make sure the prevailing order of items, or as tools of social reform. but items in museums can exceed their detailed roles as records or specimens. during this wideranging and unique booklet, Michelle Henning explores how old and modern museums and exhibitions restage the connection among humans and fabric issues. In doing so, they develop into vital websites for the advance of recent varieties of event, reminiscence and data. Henning finds how museums may be theorised as a kind of media. She discusses either historic and modern examples, from cupboards of interest, during the avant-garde exhibition layout of Lissitzy and Bayer; the experimental museums of Paul Otlet and Otto Neurath; to technological know-how centres; immersive and digital museums; and significant advancements resembling Guggenheim Bilbao, Tate sleek in London and the nationwide Museum of the yankee Indian in Washington D.C. Museums, Media and Cultural concept is exclusive in its remedy of the museum as a media-form, and in its unique and significant dialogue of quite a lot of exhibit ideas. it's an fundamental advent to a couple of the major principles, texts and histories appropriate to the museum within the twenty first century.
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Extra info for Museums, Media and Cultural Theory (Issues in Cultural and Media Studies)
Burke was writing in the wake of the great debates about luxury that had raged throughout the eighteenth century. It had now become possible to separate certain kinds of luxury consumption from others: and especially to value luxuries while deriding ostentation. The attachment of the landed aristocracy to certain kinds of things was defensible while their flamboyance was not. The luxury debates had begun in the late seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century. These were not philosophical debates conducted in high isolation but struggles at the foundation of the emergent economic system of capitalism, and related both to class, and to forms of governance.
In contrast, the sensuality of commodities tends to be seen as something harnessed to their economic function, a false appearance purely dedicated to inspiring desire in potential buyers. In this sense, the commodity is ‘the antithesis of the aesthetic object’ or ‘a grisly caricature of the authentic artefact’ (Eagleton 1990: 208–9). This is what the German Marxist philosopher Wolfgang Haug (1986) calls commodity aesthetics. If, in theory, it is difficult to wholly disentangle the aesthetic experience to be had inside the art museum from its ‘grisly’ counterpart in commodity aesthetics, in practice they are entangled because of the way in which museums and stores 29 30 | MUSEUMS, MEDIA AND CULTUR AL THEORY ‘stage’ their respective objects.
That is to say, not just museums concerned with aesthetic value, but those concerned with historical and scientific value as well. There is an argument that museums aestheticize all objects, turning them into objects of primarily ‘visual interest’ (Alpers 1991). This argument has been contested on the basis that there are many objects in museums that are not visually interesting at all, but that are made interesting by the contextual information given (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1998: 17). The argument that museums aestheticize may suggest, however, something of the effect of shared display techniques.
Museums, Media and Cultural Theory (Issues in Cultural and Media Studies) by Michelle Henning