Arts and Audiences 1
Full course description
This course focuses on the relationship between arts and audiences. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach and builds on perspectives coming from academic fields such as (art) history, sociology, pedagogy, philosophy, museum and media studies as well as professional practices such as education, policy, marketing and curatorship. It aims to show students the diverse ways in which art institutions relate to and interact with audiences. The course is firmly grounded both in academic scholarly works and professional practices. Lectures will offer overviews on the topics at hand and present diverse positions in the field. Workshops will offer focused work on academic literature related to the topics as well as hands-on professional training.
In period 3 you will be introduced to key developments concerning the ever-changing relationship between arts and its audiences. First you will study changing notions of ‘visitors’, ‘audiences’, ‘users’ and ‘the public’ looking at the historical and sociological context of the various definitions of the concepts and the implications of varying terminologies on academic and professional ways of studying audiences. We will then study and critically question related concepts of ‘audience engagement’ and ‘public participation’ by drawing on theories from education and media studies with a special focus on digital practices in museums. Following on the different forms of engagement, we will then consider the impact of space on audiences, including traditional white cubes, post-industrial and public spaces as well as digital spaces. Period 3 will conclude with questions related to recent developments and broader notions of audience engagement, such as social inclusion (and exclusion) and the role of the arts in processes of social innovation.
At the end of the course, students are able to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key theories, approaches, concepts and methodologies in museum studies, audience research, curatorial studies, and cultural education;
- demonstrate advanced knowledge of and insight into important issues in the fields of audience research, education, curatorship with an emphasis on participatory practices;
- differentiate between the relevant stakeholders, actors and factors in diverse practices related to audiences;
- use professional skills to work with audiences in the fields of arts and culture;
- collaborate with a societal partner within a research assignment;
- critically analyse cultural practices with a focus on the relationship between art and audiences, and the implementation of the results into practice.
There are no pre-requisites for this module.
Duncan, C. (1995). ‘From the princely gallery to the public Art Museum’ Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums, London: Routledge, pp. 21-47.
Abt, J. (2011) The Origins of the Public Museum. In: Sharon Macdonald (ed.). A Companion to Museum Studies. Malden, USA; Oxford, UK; Victoria, Canada: Blackwell, pp. 115-134.
Hooper-Greenhill, E. (2000) Changing Values in the Art Museum: rethinking communication and learning, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 6:1, 9-31.