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An architecture of rewards: a new poetics to exhibition design?
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2007, 00:00 authored by Andrea WitcombAndrea Witcomb
This paper argues that the influence of multimedia on exhibition practices can be felt not only by the presence of multimedia interactives in the exhibition itself but more generally by the presence of similar structural principles. The argument is conducted by borrowing from Stephen Johnson’s (2005) thesis that contemporary forms of popular culture, particularly those found in video games, television and film, are based on an ‘architecture of rewards’. In taking this term across to exhibition practices, I use it to analyse an approach to the interpretation of a heritage site, which attempts neither to reconstruct its former uses nor to insert traditional forms of ‘contextual’ displays. Instead, I argue that the curatorial attempt to find ways in which the site could become the principal object of display resulted in the conscious production of narrative gaps which become the structural armature for the encouragement of game playing in a similar process to that discussed by Johnson in relation to video games.