Moving Beyond Utopia/Dystopia: EUscreenXL as Participatory Archive
Neef, R. de
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis examines how EUscreenXL, an online portal that makes Europe’s audio-visual heritage accessible, could reach the potential users of the archive and create a participatory environment. In the first chapter, I briefly discuss the history of online archives for television. The second chapter of my thesis outlines and critically analyses the current academic discourse surrounding participation in the context of online archival practices. Using Eggo Müller’s concept of “formatted spaces” (2009), I examine both the interactive environment and the technological set-up of EUscreen – the predecessor of EUscreenXL – in order to understand how participation gets shape and is shaped on the portal and its accompanying functionalities. In the third chapter, I use Mirko Tobias Schäfer’s distinction between “explicit participation” and “implicit participation” (2011) to analyse what roles users and institutions (unwittingly) take on and how this ideology is reflected in the design of EUscreen’s user interface. The last chapter looks at the follow-up EUscreenXL and proposes best practices for the design of participatory applications that enable users to effectively contribute to and work with the content of the archive. My thesis argues that EUscreenXL could achieve its goal to involve users and create a participatory environment better by implementing user-led activities into the design of EUscreenXL’s user interface. This allows EUscreenXL’s end-users to contribute to the archive, while EUscreenXL is at the same time able to prevent appropriation of technology and/or content in ways unintended by the partner institutions. I call this type of participation ‘reciprocal participation’, which emphasises the mutual benefit for both the EUscreenXL end-users and the partner archives.