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The End of the Beginning

Normativity in the Postdigital Museum

Ross Parry

Keywords: change; digital; museum; normativity; organization; postdigital; technology

This article is an attempt to frame a way of seeing museums after the digital revolution. By introducing the concept of the ‘postdigital’, its aim is to evidence a tipping point in the adoption of new media in the museum—a moment where technology has become normative. The intention is not to suggest that digital media today is (or, indeed, should be) universally and equally adopted and assimilated by all museums, but rather to use the experience of several (national) museums to illustrate the normative presence digital media is having within some organizational strategies and structures. Having traced this perceived normativity of technology in these localized institutional settings, the article then attempts to reflect upon the consequences that the postdigital and the normative management of new media have for our approach to museological research.

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