Deep Viewpoints: Scripted Support for the Citizen Curation of Museum Artworks

Mulholland, Paul; Stoneman, Adam; Carvalho, Jason; Daga, Enrico and Maguire, Mark (2023). Deep Viewpoints: Scripted Support for the Citizen Curation of Museum Artworks. In: Proceedings of the 34th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, article no. 23.



This paper describes the design and use of Deep Viewpoints, a software platform for eliciting and sharing citizen perspectives associated with museum artworks. The design of the platform is inspired by the process of Slow Looking in which museum visitors are guided to observe artworks and develop their own response. Within Deep Viewpoints, the processes of observing and responding to artworks are guided by a script comprising stages containing artworks, statements, and prompts or questions to which the follower of the script can respond. Scripts are intended for use either in the gallery or remotely. We describe the design of Deep Viewpoints and how it can be used to respond to scripts, view the responses of others and author new scripts. We then describe our experiences of using Deep Viewpoints with communities traditionally underserved by the museum sector to bring new perspectives to the museum collection. Crucially, the communities were not only involved in interpreting artworks with the guidance of the scripts but also creating new scripts, mediating how others observe and think about art. Analysis of the authored scripts revealed a range of ways in which they were used to share interpretations of the artworks and mediate what questions others should ask themselves when viewing the artworks. Finally, we reflect on the potential role a scripted approach to Citizen Curation could play in promoting cultural engagement.

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