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The Exhibitionary Complex: Exhibition, Apparatus, and Media from Kulturhuset to the Centre Pompidou, 1963–1977
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Aesthetics.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Description
Abstract [en]

This dissertation traces the history of a diagram. The diagram shows four circles of gradually diminishing sizes, lodged one inside the other, like the layers of a circular or spherical body. For a group of artists, curators, architects, and activists centered around Moderna Museet in Stockholm between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s, the diagram represented a new type of museum: a museological Information Center modeled on the computer, operating as a site for radically democratic social experiments. The four layers stood for different functions: information capture, processing, interface, storage; or, put differently: social spaces and media resources, workshop floors, exhibition facilities, collection.

Through close readings of a series of exhibitions and institutional projects in Sweden, the US, and France, this dissertation follows the development of this diagram: its prehistory and formulation, its different implementations, and its direct and indirect effects. It studies Moderna Museet’s original, unrealized project for Kulturhuset in Stockholm, according to which the museum should project its dynamic energies across the city center, serving as a “catalyst for the active forces in society”. It discusses the museum’s confrontation with digital technologies in the late 1960s, through pioneering museological organizations such as the Museum Computer Network in New York. It analyzes the exhibition formats developed in correspondence with the notion of the museum as a “vast experimental laboratory” and a “broadcasting station”: the exhibition as critical information pattern, as tele-commune. And it studies the diagram’s afterlife as one of the models informing the Centre Pompidou in Paris, during that project’s early phases.

The Exhibitionary Complex reads these endeavors and visions as attempts to devise a critical understanding of the exhibitionary apparatus in relation to new information environments and media systems. It sheds light on a largely forgotten aspect of the exhibitionary, museological, and cultural history of the late twentieth century, in Sweden and internationally. But it also seeks to establish new models for grasping the exhibition’s singularity and potentials as a cultural and media technological form, in relation to the emergence of new information networks, as they exert increasing control over social, cultural, and political existence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2017. , 359 p.
Series
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 130Södertörn Studies in Art History and Aesthetics, 4
Keyword [en]
Modern and contemporary art exhibitions, modern and contemporary art museums, apparatus, dispositif, exhibitionary complex, exhibition history, museology, media archaeology, aesthetics, Moderna Museet, Kulturhuset, Centre Pompidou, Museum Computer Network, Filialen
National Category
Arts
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-32143Local ID: 1559/42/2011ISBN: 978-91-87843-76-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-87843-77-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-32143DiVA: diva2:1075994
Public defence
2017-03-24, MB503, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Huddinge, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Space, Power, Ideology
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1559/42/2011
Available from: 2017-03-03 Created: 2017-02-21 Last updated: 2017-03-03Bibliographically approved

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