New Directions in the Future of Heritage Institutions

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Abstract

This article aims to discuss new directions in heritage institutions within the framework of the post-digital condition of contemporary society. After an introduction to the cultural changes this condition signifies for museums and heritage institutions, the article focuses on the notions of the distributed museum and the post-digital museum. More specifically, the article argues that the discourse on museums and digitality has already changed and will change more in the future as the use of digital media is ubiquitous and an integral part of daily life for individuals, community groups, and institutions. At the same time, the criteria of introduction, perception, and ultimately relation among cultural institutions with digital heritage have already moved into a different framework that emphasizes the social dimension of these technologies, not the socioeconomic criteria, as in the past. In a post-digital world that changes, cultural heritage institutions need to also change in a deep ontological way by reconsidering their role, content, and agency and the construction of cultural heritage within the global ecosystem.