This post argues that device apps employed as interpretation strategies in museum galleries actually undermine the quality & extent of direct experience with museum collections on exhibit. Communication technology apps are designed to monopolise the user's attention. [Hand-held devices] are observably, experientially, & demonstrably through research behaviourally addictive. Experiencing an exhibition mediated by means of pointing one's nose at a device screen is-first & foremost-purely interaction with the addictive hand-held device, not engagement that effectively encourages face-to-object experience. . .
Shouldn't museums really concentrate on our "core business" providing experiences aimed at interactive engagement with real objects on exhibit rather than encouraging more interaction with communication IT? . . . Being museum practitioners, is it too much to expect that we would analyse our interpretive machinery through a material culture lens? Technology-. . . digital camera, the modern automobile, or a smartphone-is what the respected experimental physics professor & Director of Museum Studies Ursula Franklin (1990), author of the Real World of Technology, terms "prescriptive." By definition, this means the imposition or enforcement of a rule or method. . .
American Alliance of Museums2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 1005Arlington, VA 22202