Visual Memory Press
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Present on Site



Bruno Ingemann
Present on site. Transforming Exhibitions and Museums

Why are exhibitions and museums so important? What can they be used for? Who determines relevance in a transformative process?

Transforming exhibitions is not just something you do, it is something that gets better the more you do it. This book looks at the intersection of the visitor or user, who gets personal and cultural meaning from their visit and the museum as it appears in the design of the exhibition. It examines on-site communication for intentional and hidden content and messages, and reveals possible relations to the visitor, his or her world and society in general. This investigation also focuses on the processes involved in interpretation and design and takes a closer look at the practices of exhibiting rather than the objects on display. The four main themes in the book are:  

• Constructions – The visitor at an exhibition
• Questions – Experience and learning processes
• Invisibles – The exhibition design processes
• Openings – Category, objects and communication

Present on site is relevant not only for students and researchers in the field of museum communication, media and design studies, but also for exhibition and museum practitioners.

As a researcher and associate professor of visual communication at Roskilde University, Denmark and as a designer and media artist in his own right, author Bruno Ingemann, PhD, also represents an intersection. A pioneer in Danish museology and in visitor reception studies, he co-edited the anthology New Danish Museology.

” This is an important, useful, well-designed and well-written book. Ingemann insightfully argues for the importance of inspirational places in a world mediated by television and digital technologies, by showing how museums link past and present, time and space. He takes on complex, difficult, and controversial issues, and explains them clearly. What happens when visitors become curators? What happens when the familiar meets the new, when the invisible is made visible? As he shows, it results in changing visitors’ perceptions, conversations, and confidence. Museums can change our lives, the things we make and discuss, and the world as a whole.

- Course Director Dr Kevin Walker,
Information Environments,
University of the Arts London

” Present on Site brings new attention to the complex and intriguing world of interpretation in museum settings. Using a variety of compelling case studies and theories from education, media, and cultural studies, Ingemann weaves diverse perspectives to the critical issues of visitor perception and reception and the challenges involved as curators and designers attempt to mediate and influence experience. The result is a delightful and refreshingly personal exposé of key museological issues that face museum practitioners daily.

- Associate Director Karen Knutson,
University of Pittsburgh

" Overall, Ingemann’s texts remain a valuable and challenging read, replete of stimuli for further discussion and research. While the focus on the ‘persons-in-situation’ makes it difficult to draw general conclusions, it also brings the reader through diverse kinds of experiences regardless of traditional genre partitions and categories. The author’s effort to retain the perspective of the informed outsider means he is not burdened with too pragmatic issues of audience and targets. Most importantly, his long-standing engagement in building his own route through and about exhibitions, and to exposing this route while also reflecting on it, in a sort of auto-ethnographic attempt, is commendable.

- review from The Design Journal VOLUME 17, ISSUE 2, pp 314–318 written by Maddalena Dalla Mura PhD

Ingemann, Bruno (2012): Present on Site. Transforming Exhibitions and Museums
Lejre: Visual Memory Press. 396 pages, 7 x 10 inches, 147 illustration, printed in colour.
ISBN: 978-87-995101-0-8

$72 from
In Europe
£ 45,89 from

You can download the whole book for free - here

The book’s website has videos and various pictorial elements that provide an even broader foundation for the analysis, making the processes more concrete. The main focus however is the book, whose text and design complete the examination of meaning-making processes related to being
present on site, at exhibitions, at museums.

You can read the whole book on-line.

Verified retailers can go to CreateSpace Direct.




Comming publications:
- The slowly Mirror. Transvisual acts of memory and imagination
- Cross the line. The Border-Projects
- The hidden secrets. The Release-Projects