Contact Networks for Digital Reciprocation

Carl Hogsden, Emma Poulter


Since their establishment, the movement of objects and information from communities of origin into European museums has typically been one-way. Over the last decade this has shifted with digital images and information connected to objects increasingly travelling outwards. As Museums engage with the expanding open-web economy they face pressure to embrace exchange and dialogue with diverse publics. Using the examples of digital research network projects at the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the British Museum this paper examines how in practice issues surrounding online interactions between community groups, objects and the museum have been played out past and present. Recent theorization has created a binary opposition between the real object and its digital representation. In this article we critique this separation and in doing so reveal the potential for contact networks, as an alternative reciprocal model of engaging with things to move us into a new realm of digital possibilities for object-based engagement.

Full Text:


Copyright (c) 2015 Carl Hogsden, Emma Poulter

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360