Main Article Content
Museums are becoming increasingly multi-medial experiences and with the emergence of the metaverse (Coates, 2021), immersive technologies (XR) are projected to form an important part of future museum experiences. With options to provide a multiplicity of non-hierarchical information, support individualised paths through exhibitions, and experiential visits, XR has the potential to help keep visitors engaged around complex and nuanced information (Mulcahy, 2017). Working on devices that most museum visitors already own, XR technologies present a promising move towards more inclusivity, accessibility, and active audience engagement. Contributing to research on the multiple uses of XR in UK museums, this paper focuses on how XR can be operationalised to address contested displays in Western museums. Using an external app for the British Museum as an example, this paper discusses the challenges arising from this intersection, including the entrenchment of immersive technologies in colonial power dichotomies, the risks of performative virtual interventions, and the conflicting agencies museums, companies, and individuals must navigate in this context. The author suggests, as a possible experimental approach, wiki-based XR interactions which engage with non-Eurocentric epistemologies and are co-created by communities commonly disenfranchised in Western museum spaces.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Alexander, B. (2006). Web 2.0. https://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM0621.pdf
Ali, M. (2014). Towards a decolonial computing. Ambiguous Technologies: Philosophical Issues, Practical Solutions, Human Nature, International Society of Ethics and Information Technology, 28–35.
Appadurai, A. (2008). Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy. In Evans Braziel, J. & Mannur, A. (eds.): Theorizing Diaspora. A Reader (pp. 33-44). Wiley-Blackwell.
Applebaum, B. (2016). Critical Whiteness Studies. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. https://oxfordre.com/education/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.001.0001/acrefore-9780190264093-e-5
Arefi, M. (1999). Non‐place and placelessness as narratives of loss: Rethinking the notion of place. Journal of Urban Design, 4(2), 179-193.
Baker, M. (2016). Civilizantional Analysis, European Modernity and Western Education: A Modern/colonial World System Perspective. Academia. https://www.academia.edu/25409887/Civilizational_Analysis_European_Modernity_and_Western_E ducation_A_Modern_colonial_World_System_Perspective
Beacham, R., Denard, H., & Niccolucci, F. (2006). An Introduction to the London Charter. https://www.londoncharter.org/fileadmin/templates/main/docs/beacham-denard-niccolucci_intro.pdf
Benford, S. & Giannachi, G. (2011). Performing Mixed Reality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Bernal, M. (1987). Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization (The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985, Volume 10. Rutland Local History & Record Society.
Bijker, W. & Bijsterveld, K. (2000). Women Walking through Plans: Technology, Democracy, and Gender Identity. Technology and Culture, 41. 485-515.
Bishop, C., & Perjovschi, D. (2013). Radical museology or, ‘what’s contemporary’ in museums of contemporary art? Koenig Books.
British Museum Admissions Income 2020 (2021). British Museum Admissions Income 2020. Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/422422/british-museum-admissions-income-england-uk/
Bruckman, A. (2022). Should You Believe Wikipedia?: Online Communities and the Construction of Knowledge. Camrbidge University Press.
Carrington, M. (2003). Officers, Gentlemen and Thieves: The Looting of Monasteries during the 1903/4 Younghusband Mission to Tibet. Modern Asian Studies, 37(1), 81–109.
Carwil, B. (2021). New maps for an inclusive Wikipedia: decolonial scholarship and strategies to counter systemic bias. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 27(3), 207-228.
Casey, W. (2009). Firsts: Origins of Everyday Things That Changed the World. Penguin.
Cavallo, M., Rhodes, G. A. & Forbes, A. G. (2016). Riverwalk: Incorporating Historical Photographs in Public Outdoor Augmented Reality Experiences. IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, 160-165.
Cegys, P., & Weijdom, J. (2020). Mixing realities: Reflections on presence and embodiment in intermedial performance design of Blue Hour VR. Theatre and Performance Design, 6(1–2), 81–101. https://doi.org/10.1080/23322551.2020.1785710
Chakrabarty, D. (2000). Subaltern Studies and Postcolonial Historiography. Neplanta: Views from the South, 1(1), 9-32.
Chilisa, B. (2020). Indigenous Research Methodologies. SAGE Publishing.
Coates, C. (2021). Virtual Reality is a big trend in museums, but what are the best examples of museums using VR? Museum Next: Metaverse. https://www.museumnext.com/article/how-museums-are-using-virtual-reality/
de Sousa Santos (2016). Epistemologies of the South. From the European South, 1. 17-29.
De Sousa Santos, B. (2016). Epistemologies of the South and the future. From the European South, 1, 17-29.
Dentsu Webchutney (2021). The Unfiltered History Tour. https://theunfilteredhistorytour.com/
Dietze, G. (2014). Decolonizing Gender – Gendering Colonial Theory: Crosscurrents and Archeologies. In Broeck S. & Junker, C. (eds.): Postcoloniality— Decoloniality— Black Critique (pp. 253-276). Frankfurt/New York: Campus.
Diyabanza, M. (2020). Experience: I steal from museums. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/nov/20/experience-i-steal-from-museums
Doolani, S., Wessels, C., Kanal, V., Sevastopoulos, C., Jaiswal, A., Nambiappan, H. & Makedon, F. (2020). A Review of Extended Reality (XR) Technologies for Manufacturing Training. Technologies, 8(4), 77.
Dowden, O., Jenrick, R. & The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (2021). Gov.uk. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-legal-protection-for-england-s-heritage
Drucker, J. (2013). Performative materiality and theoretical approaches to interface. DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly, 7(1), 1.
Dussel, E. (1993). Eurocentrism and Modernity (Introduction to the Frankfurt Lectures). Boundary, 2, 65-76.
Engberg, M. (2017). Augmented and Mixed Reality Design for contested and challenging histories. Museums and the Web 2017, 1-8.
F. Ortega, J. M. Gonzalez-Barahona and G. Robles (2008). On the Inequality of Contributions to Wikipedia. Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 304-304. doi: 10.1109/HICSS.2008.333
Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (1992). The Museum Experience. Howells House.
Falk, J., & Dierking, L. (2000). Learning From Museums: Visitor Experiences and the Making of Meaning.
Faloyin, D. (2021). The True Stories of 10 of the Most Disputed Objects at the British Museum. Vice World News. https://www.vice.com/en/article/3abdd3/unfiltered-history-tour-ten-disputed-artefacts-british-museum
Fanon, F. (1961). The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Weidenfeld.
Findlen, P. (1994). Possessing nature. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Furht, B. (2011). Handbook of Augmented Reality. New York: Springer.
Georgiou, Y. & Kyza, E. A. (2021). Bridging narrative and locality in mobile-based augmented reality educational activities: Effects of semantic coupling on students’ immersion and learning gains. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 145, 1-15.
Gildea, R. (2019). Empires of the Mind. Cambridge University Press.
Gilroy, P. (2005). After Empire: Melancholia or Convivial Culture? Routledge.
Goodfellow, M. (2019). Put our colonial history on the curriculum – then we’ll understand who we really are. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/05/britain-colonial-history-curriculum-racism-migration
Graham, M., Straumann, R. K., & Hogan, B. (2015). Digital Divisions of Labor and Informational Magnetism: Mapping Participation in Wikipedia. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 105(6), 1158–1178. https://doi.org/10.1080/00045608.2015.1072791
Hall, S. (1997). Representation: cultural representations and signifying practices. London: SAGE in association with the Open University.
Hartmann, J. & Vogel, D. (2021). An examination of mobile phone pointing in surface mapped spatial augmented reality. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 153, 1-18.
Henderson, T. Z., & Atencio, D. J. (2007). Integration of Play, Learning, and Experience: What Museums Afford Young Visitors. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35(3), 245–251. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-007-0208-1
Hendley, T. H. (1914). Indian Museums. Journal of Indian Art, 16 (35). 207-221. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41341438
Herbst, I., Braun, A., Mccall, R. & Broll, W. (2008). TimeWarp: Interactive time travel with a mobile mixed reality game. Proceedings of the 10th Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, 235-244.
Hicks, D. (2022). The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution. Pluto Press.
Hooper-Greenhill, E. (1992). Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge. Routledge & CRC Press.
Hussein, Z. A. & Ali, S. S. A. (2022). The role of augmented reality in revitalizing the tourist space of the built heritage via perception. Periodicals in Engineering and Natural Sciences, 10(1), 47-58.
Huvila, I. (2012). The Unbearable Complexity of Documenting Intellectual Processes: Paradata and Digital Virtual Cultural Heritage Visualisation, Human IT, 12(1), 97-110.
Ibharim, N. A. N., Ramli, S. Z., Zahari, S. A., Edyanto, N. A. A. & Abdullah Zawawi, M. A. (2021). Learning History Using Augmented Reality. International Journal of Multimedia and Recent Innovation, 3(1), 1-10.
Irani, L., Philip, K., & Dourish, P. (2010). Postcolonial computing: A Tactical Survey. Science, Technology & Human Values, 37(1), 3-29.
Jacob, S. (2012). Make It Real: Architecture as Enactment. NPECC Press.
Jeffrey, S. (2015). Challenging Heritage Visualisation: Beauty, Aura and Democratisation. Open Archeology, 1, 142-155.
Jeffrey, S., Jones, S., Maxwell, M., Hale, A. & Jones, C. (2018). 3D heritage visualisation and the negotiation of authenticity: the ACCORD project. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 24(4), 333-353.
Jin, Y., Ma, M. & Zhu, Y. (2021). A comparison of natural user interface and graphical user interface for narrative in HMD-based augmented reality. Multimed Tools Appl. 2022, 81(4), 5795-5826. doi: 10.1007/s11042-021-11723-0
Kenderdine, S. (2021). Experimental museology: Immersive visualization and cultural (big) data. In M. Achiam, M. Haldrup and K. Drotner (eds.): Experimental Museology Institutions, Representations, Users (pp. 15-34). Abingdon: Routledge.
Landeschi, G. (2019). Rethinking GIS, three-dimensionality and space perception in archaeology. World Archaeology, 51(1), 17-32.
Lanier, J. (2017). Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality. New York: Vintage.
Liu, J. (2021). An App Gives You the Truth Behind 10 Looted Objects in the British Museum. Hyperallergic. https://hyperallergic.com/702540/an-app-gives-you-the-truth-behind-10-looted-objects-in-the-british-museum/
Llobera, M. (2012). Life on a Pixel: Challenges in the Development of Digital Methods Within an “Interpretive” Landscape Archaeology Framework. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 19, 495-509.
Lorde, A. (1984). The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House. In Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (pp. 110-114). Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press.
Marchal, N., Au, H., & Howard, P. N. (2020). Coronavirus news and information on YouTube. Health, 1(1), 0-3.
Meisner, R., vom Lehn, D., Heath, C., Burch, A., Gammon, B., & Reisman, M. (2007). Exhibiting Performance: Co‐participation in science centres and museums. International Journal of Science Education, 29(12), 1531–1555. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500690701494050
Mignolo, W. (2002). The Geopolitics of Knowledge and the Colonial Difference. The South Atlantic Quarterly, 101(1), 57-68.
Mulcahy, D. (2017). The salience of liminal spaces of learning: assembling affects, bodies and objects at the museum. Geographica Helvetica, 72, 109–118. https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-72-109-2017
Murawska-Muthesius, K. (2016). Masterpieces and the Critical Museum. In Murawska-Muthesius, K. & Piotrowski, P. (eds.): From Museum Critique to the Critical Museum, 99-114. Routledge.
Nashashibi, S. M. (2003). Visitor Voices in Art Museums. Journal of Museum Education, 28(3), 21–25. https://doi.org/10.1080/10598650.2003.11510487
Oyèwùmí, O. (2005). Visualizing the Body: Western Theories and African Subjects. In Oyèwùmí, O. (ed.): African Gender Studies: A Reader (pp. 3-22). Palgrave Macmillan.
Packer, N. (2017). Review: ‘Learning from Anti-Colonial Struggles’ – Karma Nabulsi’s Keynote Speech. Common Ground Oxford. https://commongroundoxford.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/review-learning-from-colonial-struggles-karma-nabulsis-keynote-speech/
Parker, K. & Chao, J. (2007). Wiki as a Teaching Tool. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 3(1), 57-72. https://www.learntechlib.org/p/44798/.
Procter, A. (2021). The Whole Picture: The Colonial Story of the Art in Our Museums & why We Need to Talk about it. Octopus Books.
Rahaman, H., Champion, E. & Bekele, M. (2019). From photo to 3D to mixed reality: A complete workflow for cultural heritage visualisation and experience. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, 13, 1-17.
Remolar, I., Rebollo, C., & Fernández-Moyano, J.A. (2021). Learning History Using Virtual and Augmented Reality. Computers, 10(11), 146, 1-19.
Roberts, J., Banerjee, A., Hong, A., McGee, S., Horn, M., & Matcuk, M. (2018). Digital Exhibit Labels in Museums: Promoting Visitor Engagement with Cultural Artifacts. Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1145/3173574.3174197
Roosevelt, C., Cobb, P., Moss, E., Olson, B. & Ünlüsoy, S. (2015). Excavation is Destruction Digitization: Advances in Archaeological Practice. Journal of Field Archaeology, 40(3), 325-346.
Sanghera, S. (2021). Empireland. How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain. Dublin: Random House.
Shaw, K. (2021). Gurbaksh Singh: Decoding The Code Behind The Unfiltered History Tour At British Museum. Campaign Brief Asia. https://campaignbriefasia.com/2021/12/22/gurbaksh-singh-decoding-the-code-behind-the-unfiltered-history-tour-at-british-museum/
Shin, D. (2021) Does augmented reality augment user affordance? The effect of technological characteristics on game behaviour. Behaviour & Information Technology, 1, 1-17.
Silverman, L. H. (1995). Visitor Meaning-Making in Museums for a New Age. Curator: The Museum Journal, 38(3), 161–170. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2151-6952.1995.tb01052.x
Simmons, A. (2015). Technology Colonialism. Model View Culture. https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/technology-colonialism
Smørdal, O., Liestøl, G. and Erstad, G. (2016). Exploring situated knowledge building using mobile augmented reality. QWERTY, 11(1), 26-43.
Syal, R. (2021). Unions fear government wants museums to ‘airbrush’ UK history. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/feb/23/unions-fear-government-wants-museums-to-airbrush-uk-history
Tuck, E., & Yang, K. W. (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1(1). 1-40.
von Nordheim, G., Boczek, K. & Koppers, L. (2018). Sourcing the Sources: An analysis of the use of Twitter and Facebook as a journalistic source over 10 years in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. Digital Journalism, 6(7), 807-828.
Wagner, C., Garcia, D., Jadidi, M., & Strohmaier, M. (2021). It’s a Man’s Wikipedia? Assessing Gender Inequality in an Online Encyclopedia. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 9(1), 454-463.
Wang, Z., Nguyen, C., Asente, P., & Dorsey, J. (2021). DistanciAR: Authoring Site-Specific Augmented Reality Experiences for Remote Environments. Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–12.
Weijdom, J. (2022). Performative prototyping in collaborative mixed reality environments: An embodied design method for ideation and development in virtual reality. Sixteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1145/3490149.3501316
Wilkins, A. (2011). The story behind the world’s oldest museum built by a Babylonian princess 2,500 years ago. Gizmodo. http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-story-behind-the-worlds-oldest-museum-built-by-a-b-5805358
Wintle, C. (2013). Decolonising the Museum: The case of the Imperial and Commonwealth Institutes. Museum and Society, 11(2), 185-201. https://journals.le.ac.uk/ojs1/index.php/mas/article/view/232
Wither, J., Allen, R., Samanta, V., Hemanus, J., Tsai, Y., Azuma, R., Carter, W., Hinman, R. & Korah, T. (2010). The Westwood Experience: Connecting story to locations via Mixed Reality. IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality - Arts, Media, and Humanities 2010, 39-46.