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Title: Post-digital audience engagement activity in and across visual arts and publishing
Author: Preston, Louisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 2181
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis conceptualises post-digital audience engagement activity in activity settings across visual arts and publishing. The research question is: how is audience engagement activity understood in and across publishing and the visual arts in the post-digital age? The central argument this thesis makes is that in the post-digital age relationships between the audience (and conceptualisations thereof) and cultural/sector organisations are undergoing a degree of transformation. Additionally, activities in the publishing industry have become significant to other areas of the creative industries, as media has begun to converge in the post-digital age. Greater understanding of audience engagement activity in this wider context bears significance for the potential roles and expanded activities that publishers can undertake. This thesis explains the dynamics of post-digital audience engagement activity undertaken in the visual arts and publishing. Post-digital audience engagement activity is motivated towards expanding audiences, creating new relationships with audiences and developing new playful transactions. Events have a key role in expanding audiences, generating participation and transformations of activity. Other key features of post-digital audience engagement are digital tools which interact with other analogue instruments of engagement and gamification and playful features of activity drawn from games development practice. Taking a practice-based studies approach, this research used Cultural Historical Activity Theory. The research methodology adopted a mixture of research strategies drawn from ethnography and case study research. An adaptation to the case study strategy of activity settings was used relating to the challenge of demarcating boundaries of a case while adopting a practice ontology. Qualitative data in the form of semi-structured interviews, observational fieldnotes, documents and images form the data sets for this research in three activity settings of publishing, national art collections and contemporary art. Organisations which are central to these activity settings are Publishing Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and Dundee Contemporary Arts.
Supervisor: Squires, Claire ; Beech, Nic ; Greig, Gail Jane Sponsor: University of St Andrews ; University of Stirling ; Nesta ; Creative Scotland (Organization) ; Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Publishing ; Visual arts ; Post-digital ; Audience engagement ; Cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) ; Events ; Gamification ; Gatekeeping ; Curating ; Practice-based studies ; Literature ; Contemporary art ; National collections ; Publishers and publishing