Assembling bones, becoming dinosaur: guests’ relationships to museum objects via Deleuzian assemblage within a dinosaur gallery

Abstract

Museum galleries foster engagement by creating singular experiences for guests to develop and refine their knowledge of topics related to history, art, and science. This assemblage of meaning is interesting for museums who carefully curate abstract, scientific information, like a dinosaur gallery. This study examined photographs taken by 50 patron-participants within A the Changing World dinosaur gallery. Participants’ photographs (N = 566) (e.g., artifacts, signage, fossils) and 50 verbal questionnaires comprised the data set. We used a Deleuzo-Guattarian framework paired with a post-intentional phenomenological methodology to identify areas of guests’ evocation (the ‘comings-together’ between participant and the object photographed) and assemblage (the product that participants create as they engage with gallery objects forming reactions, perceptions, knowledge, etc.) when exploring the lived history of dinosaurs. Findings suggest evocation was most pronounced in the lived experiences of dinosaurs (e.g., predation and birth), facilitating narratives and wonderings around how dinosaurs lived in the moment.

Description

© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. cc-by-nc-nd

Keywords

assemblage theory, curation, Deleuze, dinosaurs, guest experiences, post-intentional phenomenology

Citation

Cruz, J., Hite, R.L., & Velasco, R.C.L.. 2022. Assembling bones, becoming dinosaur: guests’ relationships to museum objects via Deleuzian assemblage within a dinosaur gallery. Museum Management and Curatorship, 37(3). https://doi.org/10.1080/09647775.2022.2054018

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