University of Exeter
Supervised by Gabriella Giannachi, Professor of Performance and New Media and Director of the Centre for Intermedia, Department of English, University of Exeter, and Dr Rebecca Sinker, Curator of Digital Learning, Tate
February 2013 –

Art Maps workshop participants walking in Whitechapel and documenting the connections between their neighbourhood and the artworks seen at Tate Britain

Art Maps workshop participants walking in Whitechapel and documenting the connections between their neighbourhood and the artworks seen at Tate Britain
Photo by Ana Escobar © Tate

My research looks at the evolution of interpretation in the art museum and, in particular, at the introduction of cutting-edge technologies that set a new trend in the field of gallery interpretation from the 1950s onward. Focussing on Tate, the core of my thesis discusses the development of interpretation within the organisation and then its own innovative productions in the context of interpretive technologies. My main case study is the Art Maps project, one of the most recent examples of said productions, which I present through the practice-based research I carried out while collaborating on the project between 2013 and 2016.

How did you come to be researching this subject at Tate?

My research has been, and continues to be a personal as well as professional experience. It has given me the time and headspace to understand my own interests and passions, as well as Tate’s history and strategies, on a much deeper level than I could have ever achieved as a professional museum educator. I strongly believe that Tate’s efforts to engage its audiences with the visual arts is setting a high standard worthy of academic attention, particularly in the relatively new digital field.

About Cristina Locatelli

Cristina has studied art history and culture management in northern Italy, specialising in museum education while working at the Dalí Museums in Spain. She worked in the Learning teams of Interpretation and Early Years and Families at Tate between 2008 and 2013. Since starting her collaborative PhD, she has moved back to Italy and is currently working for Machineria, a start-up based in Trento that develops digital projects for Italian museums wishing to use technology to offer opportunities for audiences to engage and learn with collections.