Interactive and Social Technology: Challenges and Opportunities for Museums and Heritage Institutions in Latin America
Cultural institutions, such as museums and heritage sites, face particular challenges when dealing with technology and innovation adoption in developing countries. Social and economic instability, low priority attribution, usually leads to lack of funding and insufficient investment in technological infrastructure to appropriately support innovative projects and interactive visitor participation. These difficulties often mean institutions fall back to traditional, static, one-size-fits-all displays, which frequently fail to meet the interest of modern audiences. Additionally, content generation is slow, usually not adapted to digital media, and teams are limited in what they can do, compromising technology adoption and content evolution. In parallel, in many of these societies, there has been a visible increase in mobile technology dissemination and social media interaction. We believe that this creates an opportunity to engage museum visitors and to approach challenges with novel strategies without requiring a large technological investment on the part of the institution. In this chapter, we explore the challenges faced by cultural institutions in Brazil, based on interviews with local museum directors and curators. We also point out the opportunities to tackle these challenges that arise from the widespread adoption of personal and mobile technology in Brazilian society. Real-life examples from Brazilian museums, art schools, and heritage sites are used to illustrate typical situations.
We gratefully acknowledge Claudia Saldanha, Denise Grinspum, Tania Queiroz, and Wilton Guerra for their testimonies and interviews without which the present study could not have been completed. The authors were supported by Grants from CNPq and FAPERJ during this research. We also thank the kind reviews and comments from the book editors.
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