Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

Document Type



On February 27, 2008 the Museum of the Moving Image launched its $65 million renovation and expansion with a digital groundbreaking. Since opening its doors in Astoria, New York in 1988, the museum, originally devoted to film and television, has embraced digital media. From its “Hollywood East” Astoria Studio historic landmark site to its popular website, the Museum of the Moving Image provides a unique setting for studying the museumification of moving image culture, particularly the production and consumption of moving images. In response to the Museum of the Moving Image’s domestication of moving image culture in its core exhibition, Behind the Screen, this study recollects the museum and in doing so performs an alternative domestication. The alternative domestication modeled by this study involves critically touring and detouring the core exhibition in an effort to reframe notions such as home, family, work, and play in relation to moving image culture in a manner that extends beyond the walls of the museum and problematizes particular practices of display. In response to specific instances of domestication in Behind the Screen, the major stops on the tour are: the interactive Video Flipbook experience; the movie palace installation Tut’s Fever, a commissioned art work by Red Grooms in collaboration with Lysiane Luong; and the artifact “Martin’s First Haircut,” a home movie produced in 1947 by Irving Shaw, the father of Rochelle Slovin, the museum’s founding director. Poised at a critical point in the museum’s development, this study is attentive to the transitory nature of museums, and it demonstrates ways in which we recollect our memories and ourselves through museum-going and technologies of reproduction.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Rachel Hall



Included in

Communication Commons