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The Constituent Museum
The Constituent Museum, John Byrne - Paperback - 9789492095428
What would happen if museums put relationships at the centre of their operations? This question inspires this publication, which offers a diverse, rigorous, and experimental analysis of what is commonly known as education, mediation or interpretation within museum institutions. It regards the visitor not as a passive receiver of predefined content, but as an active member of a constituent body, whom it facilitates, provokes, inspires and learns from. Moving beyond the practice of mediation as such, the publication situates constituent practices of collaboration and co-production within the existing social-political (neoliberal) context. It does this to reimagine and affect both the physical and organizational structures of museums and galleries. Understanding the challenges of a constituent practice in an integral, interdisciplinary manner is what this publication aspires to. This is explored by placing the museum's constituents—museum professionals, active audience/co-curator, local and political agencies, operational structures and contexts—at the centre of the museum organization and looking at how their positions in society start to shift and change. Issues that are addressed: ownership and power dynamics, collective pedagogy, pedagogy of encounter, collaboration, assent, dissent and consent, co-labour and co-curation (economies of exchange), precarity, and working with interns, archives and how to activate them, broadcasting, digital cultivation, crowdsourcing, and many other topics.
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