#ArtToThePeople? Instagram, Art Museums and Democratising Practices
Today, virtually every museum in Europe and in the United States strives to present itself as a democratic institution. At the same time, scholarly literature puts much emphasis on the democratising potential of social media for museum practice. Prompted by the lack of factual data on museum’s employment of social media bemoaned in scholarly theorisation, this thesis carried out an empirical study on how museums use Instagram. In particular, the thesis focused on the extent to, and the ways in which, museums are harnessing Instagram’s democratising potential in order to fulfil their democratic aspirations (RQ). Through content analysis and semiotic analysis, the thesis concludes that, currently, Instagram's potential for a more democratic museology is harnessed only to a very partial extent. For the main part, museums stepped foot on Instagram either animated by non-democratic promotional purposes or adopting an authoritative knowledge-telling attitude. Some virtuous exceptions were nevertheless registered.
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