Centre for Media Research





Project to increase public ‘dwell-time’ in arts venues

How to increase public engagement with arts venues and museums is a question being tackled by researchers at the Centre for Media Research.

The Foursquare Mayor Chair uses digital media and social networking to promote public “dwell time” at cultural venues and events. It’s the brain child of Alan Hook and Oonagh Murphy who will be installing their Foursquare Mayor Chair at The Queens Film Theatre, Belfast, as part of the Belfast Festival at Queens University.

The Foursquare Mayor Chair is both an artistic intervention and an academic research project that playful encourages visitor attendance and engagement with art centres, museums and festivals.

To become mayor visitors need to physically visit the cultural venue in which the Foursquare Mayor Chair is located, and check-in regularly. Someone might go to see a show one evening, and because they want to become mayor will then go out of their way to pop in for a coffee the next day. The project also seeks to change how visitors engage with cultural organisations by acting as a catalyst for a deeper relationship between visitors and venues.

The Foursquare Mayor Chair encourages visitors to see cultural venues as places to hang out, meet friends, read a book, and grab a coffee.

Our mayor will be made to feel especially welcome, and will be encouraged to bring friends and relatives for afternoon tea, or host colleagues for an informal meeting in their foursquare mayor chair parlour. During its installation in QFT the mayor of the chair will enjoy free tea and coffee on their visits alongside the usual perks of always having a comfy seat, reserved for them, on their arrival.

The Foursquare Mayor Chair is available at The Queens Film Theatre, Belfast, as part of the Belfast Festival at Queens University from the 16th October until the 4th November

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