Volume 11, Issue 2, 2014
Michel Rautenberg, Sarah Rojon
Hedonistic Heritage: Digital Culture and Living Environment
History is not anymore the prerogative of historians, nor is displaying heritage the exclusive privilege of museum curators. In the digital era, local interconnected
amateurs commit themselves to the cultural circuit of heritage through the mediation of globalised images. In that circuit, heritage and social memory take a
particular form: as resources for tourism and trade, but also resources for collective action, social engagement and cultural production. “Ordinary people” engage in playful leisure such as genealogy, local history, photography, walking, exploring, surfing on the Internet, self-publishing, etc. As do-it-yourself hobbies associating offline and online practices, these hedonist activities, which blend production and consumption, creation and transmission, tend to redraw heritage communities. What do they tell us about the change of commodity, space and time? What do they tell us about the contemporary process of heritagisation and the role of people as well as the place of institutions in it? We focus on the shifts induced by the emergence of empowered actors, the “prosumers,” who participate in various networks, institutional as well as non-institutional, combining amateurs and professionals. Their collaborative experiences lead to design spaces of inspirational actions that we highlight in the context of two post-industrial areas, Swansea (UK) and Saint-Etienne (France).