<Special Features : Mediation, Transmission, Interaction: From martial arts to museum>

An Actor-Network Theory Approach to Museum’s Cultural Mediation


Gyeyeon Park

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This study aims to examine museums, which are permanent cultural institutions that hold humanity’s cultural and artistic achievements, from a post-anthropocentric perspective and to demonstrate the implications and potentials of a new epistemology and methodology of museum study. Actively developing since the 1990s primarily in the French-speaking world, ‘cultural mediation’ refers to multi-faceted intervention activities that aim to allow cultural objects and their users to form a close relationship and increase their satisfaction under the ultimate goal of leading the public to seek out culture and art on its own. Presenting three models of cultural mediation including the viewpoint of the actor-network theory, this study strives to arrive at a new understanding of cultural mediation as an activity where human and non-human actors work jointly, expanding beyond the view of cultural mediation as a tripartite activity between cultural objects, viewers(public), and mediators. By doing so, the study cast a new light on the myriad of elements that are involved in the process of museums’ cultural mediation, including ICT, which has been playing an increasingly critical role in the process. The paper aims to thereby provide insights that can offer practical help to those working in the field.


1. Introduction
2. Three Models of Cultural Mediation
(1) Model 1: A tripartite activity
(2) Model 2: Differentiation of the museum pole
(3) Application of the Actor-Network Theory Approach
(4) Model 3 as ‘relational effects’, and Semiotic Transition ofMuseum’s Mediation
3. Conclusion


  • Gyeyeon Park Visual Culture Studies, College of Liberal Arts, Graduate School, Korea University


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