Below are a selection of publications by Dr. Ana-Maria Herman.
The WAL App project is featured in a chapter of the first volume of Feminism and Museums: Intervention, Disruption and Change. Feminism and Museums explores how museums are responding to wider socio-political challenges, in which they too play a part. In an unprecedented range, depth and variety of case studies and analyses the volume presents feminist actions, interventions and disruptions which are impacting the processes of collecting, learning, interpretation and engagement in today’s museums, galleries and heritage organisations.
Re-negotiating Exhibitionary Practices and the “Digital” Politics of Display: The Case of the MTL Urban Museum App in Museum & Society
Abstract: In this paper, I employ a sociotechnical approach (drawn from science and technology studies) to reconstruct how the McCord Museum’s MTL Urban Museum App was re-made. I take into account both the social and the technical, and consider the human and the nonhuman, which allows me to chart the roles ofheterogeneous actors in re-making the App and in re-negotiating the Museum’s display practices. In doing so, I explore and point to the politics of this “digital” display: What actors were involved in its re-making? How did they participate in decision-making processes? What are the implications of the negotiations made? The analysis reveals: 1) how the re-making of the App redistributed tasks associated with exhibitionary practices by displacing them across unexpected actors both inside and outside the Museum, 2) how some aspects of design can become ‘non-negotiable’ or ‘irreversible’, and 3) how the re-negotiation of display practices established unanticipated ‘gatekeepers’ in the Museum’s display practice. Thus, this study sheds light on a “digital” case of the ‘politics of display’ (Macdonald, 1998).
How (repeat) museum displays are always experimental: (re-) making MUM and the city-laboratory in the International Journal of Heritage Studies
ABSTRACT: In this paper, I present a case for understanding exhibitionary practices as always experimental. I discuss here a study conducted on the McCord Museum’s MTL Urban Museum App, a digital display that was (re-)made based on the Museum of London’s Streetmuseum App. Drawing on the notion of ‘remediation’ and actor-network theory, I consider the display as formed through the refashioning of an ‘actor-network’, or what I refer to in this paper as an experimental assemblage. This allows me to trace the processes of transformation that brought heterogeneous actors together and into novel arrangements in re-making the App and how such processes resulted in the generation of novel experiences, practices and knowledge. Thus, this study shows that even ‘repeat’ mainstream displays involve experimental processes, or ‘exhibition experiments’. The implication for practitioners in museums, galleries, libraries and other cultural heritage institutions is that decision-making processes must always account for the experimentality of all display practices, ‘new’ or ‘old’.