Back to the Future?How 3D Printing Technology Reassembles Museums' Materiality with Scenarios Analysis

Friday, July 18, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Chia-ling LAI , Graduate Institute of European Culture and Tourism, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan
3D printing or ‘personal fabrication’, as a newly emergent technology, has now been widely considered as the most significant technological breakthrough of the twenty-first century. Drawing upon complexity theory, actor-network theory and field theory, this paper considers 3D printing as a newly emergent technology and examine its translation into one specific culture field—museum field. Museum field, the guardian of authentic material cultures, instead of worrying the widespread of hyper-real reproduction culture caused by 3D printing, showing enthusiastic embracement of this new technology that brings back materiality to the society. This paper thus discusses how 3D printing associates into the museum assembly and creates the new heterogeneity and novel competition transforming the museum field. It not only emphasizes on the museum’s aftermath of digitalization and its new hybrid material turns by 3D printing whirls, but also examines new dynamics engaging into the competition in the global museum field.

Based on 3D printing’s current engagements and appropriation in the museums field shown in news and exhibitions as well as scenario analysis of future studies, this paper examines their performances in terms of ‘forms of museum capital’: Firstly, it analyzes current museums’ acquisition of 3D printing collection and their creative projects with artists and designers as well as its application in collection’s restoration; secondly, it analyzes the future presentation techniques in exhibitions with newly emergent materiality and spatial design; thirdly, it deals with how 3D printing engaged in museums’ interactive education programs and their future development; thirdly, it discusses bringing 3D printing back home for on-line visitors and souvenirs-making in the age of (im)mobility. Some scenarios analysis of the 3D printing’s general future impacts and the consequence of unequal development of global museum field will also be laid out as the conclusion.