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Examining “response”: video‐based studies in museums and galleries

Dirk vom Lehn (Research Fellow based at the Work, Interaction and Technology Research Centre, Department of Management, King's College London, London, UK)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 30 March 2010




This paper aims to use a video‐taped fragment of conduct and interaction in a museum to illustrate the analysis of visitors' interactionally produced response to works of art.


The method draws on ethnomethodology and conversation analysis to investigate the social and sequential organisation of people's action and interaction. The fragment discussed as part of this paper sheds light on the social and interactional production of people's response to and experience of exhibits.


The detailed analysis of one video‐fragment illustrates how the analysis progresses from an inspection of the sequential organisation of talk to an examination of the sequential organisation of verbal, visual and bodily conduct. The analysis also makes a small substantive contribution to current debates on people's experience of artwork in museums. In particular, the findings suggest that the experience of works of art is not a subjective and cognitive response to the objects, but arises in and through socially organised, embodied practices at the exhibit‐face.


The paper discusses an innovative way to analyze video‐data, and makes a contribution to the growing body of research in arts marketing and museum marketing on the exhibition floor.



vom Lehn, D. (2010), "Examining “response”: video‐based studies in museums and galleries", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 33-43.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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