Mobile technology to support coherent story telling across freely explored outdoor artworks

Wolff, Annika; Mulholland, Paul; Maguire, Mark and O'Donovan, Danielle (2014). Mobile technology to support coherent story telling across freely explored outdoor artworks. In: Advances in Computer Entertainment, 11-14 Nov 2014, Madeira.

Abstract

Museum professionals create exhibitions that tell stories about museum objects. The exhibits are usually arranged to reveal the relationships between them and to highlight the story being told. But sometimes objects are in fixed places and cannot be re-positioned. This paper presents a solution to the problem of how to tell conceptually coherent stories across a set of fixed artworks within the grounds of a museum and to reveal relationships between them. A study was conducted in which QR codes were used to provide access, through mobile devices, to online information about artworks. A notion of conceptual coherence and coverage of artworks was used to construct online story trails linking artworks to each other based on overlap of key story features such as setting, people and themes. Visitors were free at all times to follow their own path through the museum grounds and choose which objects they wanted to stop and engage with. The QR code trail was evaluated on an outdoor art trail at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). Analytics of page access were used to identify how often visitors scanned QR codes and to what extent, once they had visited the online information about an artwork, they were likely to follow the story links.

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