The everyday use of smartphones with high quality built-in cameras has lead to an increase in the use of these devices to document and share cultural experiences. In this project, we examine how social photo and video sharing apps are used to communicate experiences by visitors
to cultural institutions such as science centres, museums and zoos. Our work involves analysis of mobile social media postings created in cultural institutions as a developing form of literacy. This includes both in-situ observation and interviews with visitors, together with analysis of online interaction and materials produced by visitors and shared through various online forums, e.g. Instagram and YouTube. Through partnerships with other research groups such as Mobile Life Center at Stockholm University [http://mobilelifecentre.org], and with cultural institutions such as the Universeum science centre [http://www.universeum.se] and the Gothenburg Natural History Museum [http://www.gnm.se], the findings of this work address what emerging multimedia practices imply for visitors’ engagement with and documentation of cultural experiences and highlight ways that online social media are connected with institutional sites.
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