Programmed for Affect: Thinking About Sensors and Senses in Heritage and Cultural Experiences

Tuesday 26 February 2019, 5.30PM to 18:45

Speaker(s): Jess Hoare

Is there a technological imperative in museology and heritage studies? If so, how do academic and professional efforts to encourage, experiential emotional engagement collide with these methods?

This paper responds to these questions and seeks to discover whether wearable technologies can further our understanding of the relationship between heritage and cultural spaces and their visitors. Through a exploration of Wetherell’s theory of affective practice, discusses issues involved in monitoring movement, heart rate, and skin conductive response [SCR] via wearable sensors. Through a case study, it reflects on the incorporation of subjective feeling and physiological data and the methodological challenges of this kind of mixed-methods research. It finishes by interrogating the role of technological tools in understanding the somatic work the past does and makes a case for going beyond their lure and promise to instead scratch at the surface of how such devices might come to configure affect, emotion, and temporality.




Jess Hoare has worked at the intersection of public arts and technology since 2012 and has collaborated with leading public institutions across the UK, including Tate, National Museums Wales, Watershed, Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, National Theatre Wales, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Guardian, and the British Council.

Her interest in understanding how people connect both to the past and their contemporary environment through a collaged emotion, knowledge, and previous experience fuelled much of her previous work. In 2016 she joined Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences as a doctoral candidate and is now focused on the role of emotion and affect within museums and heritage sites.




Location: K/159

Admission: Free