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Title: When Media Becomes Form: Declining conventions of materiality, space, and audience in the popular music museum
Authors: Pirrie Adams, Kathleen
Supervisors: Parry, Ross
Knell, Simon
Award date: 30-Jun-2016
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: When Media Becomes Form investigates the arresting experiment of the popular music museum project as it has evolved over the last twenty years. It argues that despite the need for adjustment, popular music is not essentially incompatible with the museum but, in fact, provides a compelling example of how the contemporary museum is animated, and sometimes bested, by the demands of today’s pluralistic and media-rich society. The thesis is based on three central case studies—the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland), the Experience Music Project (Seattle) and the British Music Experience (London)—and the research draws upon a series of in-depth interviews with curators, directors of education and media specialists, as well as archival research, site visits and exhibition critiques. It examines the collections, exhibitions, and audience relations of the purpose-built popular music museum and analyses how it declines certain conventions of materiality, space, and audience in order to align its provision with its subject. In terms of collections, it shows how the popular music museum, by finding value in mass produced objects, engages the social imaginary of a culture informed by celebrity and participation. In terms of exhibitions, it reveals how, by allowing a sense of co-ownership of the cultural narrative, the popular music museum produces an authentic ‘congregant space’. And, finally, in terms of visitation, it argues that the popular music museum, having recognized expertise within its audience and accepted that it cannot contain the visitor’s relationship to its subject within the space of the museum, embraces a notion of the extended visit that allows its audience to engage the museum from within the everyday.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Museum Studies
Leicester Theses

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