Visually informed accounts: instructed achievements during planetarium visits and sky observations

Ricardo Moutinho, Andrew P Carlin, Joana BV Marques

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In this article, the authors explore participants’ accounts of visual scenes produced during the instructed work of observing celestial bodies at planetarium sessions and star-parties. They use as examples some interactions in which participants (i.e. guides and visitors) are giving/following instructions and exchanging descriptions about the observed object based on their (in)direct access to the matter at hand and also on their orientation to the world shared in common. According to the materials analyzed, the authors found that the descriptions of participants’ observations produced and complemented each other’s accounts of the object under scrutiny. This phenomenon helps us understand how instructed observation work is locally and collaboratively managed, which in turn opens the possibility for us to explore how visual accounts are produced through the sequential and categorial aspects of talk. Such enterprise gives guides and trainers a better picture of how visitors make sense of the contents delivered.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalVisual Communication
Early online date6 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 6 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) of Macau under Grant 0054/2019/A.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Communication
  • visually informed accounts
  • planetarium
  • sky observations
  • instructed actions
  • membership categorization
  • sequentiality


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