chapter  3
25 Pages

Digitally enhanced polyvocality and reflective spaces

Challenges in sustaining dialogue in museums through digital technologies
WithGabi Arrigoni, Areti Galani

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This chapter investigates the way dialogue is understood and put to work through digital technologies in a set of exhibitions dealing with European narratives and addressing questions of otherness. Grounded on fieldwork conducted in ten museums, it identifies opportunities and challenges associated with digital dialogic interactions. These are mostly configured as sites for encountering the other and visualising the multiplicity of voices included in the display. The chapter discusses three dimensions of dialogue emerging from the fieldwork connected to the themes of polyvocality, civic listening and the tension between institutional and online spaces for dialogue. It concludes with a reflection on the barriers and opportunities for digitally mediated dialogue in museums. We argue that the limited experimentation on digital dialogues is rooted in a perceived distance between technology-mediated and human dialogic capacities. Furthermore, we reflect on the role of multimedia environments in shaping identity construction in museums.