neil cummings

Future Museum

Museums and Archives always exist in the present, yet their endless ‘waiting without forgetting’ locates them in our imagined past.

Our own recent past has been marked by an increasing number of new museums, mushrooming around the globe.  The museum, or the idea of the museum - like a parable from the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges - has become the space to preserve our culture; the museum is the ideal destination of everything.

Re-found objects from the distant, and not so distant past are restored and preserved there, new technologies compete for inclusion in museums of design and industry.

To enter the museum is to enter the past of the present, and participate in the value of things.

Enthusiasts Archive design

The drive to collect and conserve is at the root of all museums and archives. Is it merely the exhibitionary imperative that separates the museum from the archive? While the museum has a responsibility to display its holdings, the archives logic is to store.

The time of the Archive - the archive as a ‘fold’ in time?-

The archive stores materials to enable us to recall the past

·         As memory

·         As capital

·         Yet makes us conscious of absences, forgetting and discontinuities

The archive always exists in the present

·         the practice of the Archive

·         the archive as a moment of struggle – agonistic?

who or what is included, who are the gatekeepers, who has access, etc?

·         ?

As a resource the archive enables us to dream a (possible) future

·         The Future ArchiveTimelines and scenarios.

The ethics of the Archive

·         ?

An Archive is in continuous transformation

·         Archival process

·         The practice of storage – data, materials documents, speech, gestures, etc

The political economy of the Archive

·         for example reciprocity; if you use material you must also contribute – peer-to-peer and wiki-like structure

·         ‘open content’ archival source material

·          donated source material must never disappear – de-accessioned

The decentralization of the archive, a distributed archive

The impossible Archive?

·         The intersection of reality/fiction

·         Archive of experiences

·         The impossible archive – should include the whole context (like Borges story of the 1;1 map)

·         Can you dream/plan/imagine if you cannot remember?

·         The missing from the archive

·         The limits of the archive

These are some of the issues I'm currently exploring with Procesos de archivo/ Archival process

All artifacts inevitably grow a vast shadow of information; an archival prosthesis of acquisition records, cataloguing information, documentary photographs, condition reports, and supporting evidence. There's scholarship and academia, there's also an emotional prosthesis of love, care and affection as well as loss, nostalgia and despair.

So powerful is our archive fever that we hallucinate its presence out into all of our futures. The future museum colonizes our dreams with their already archived past.

Read an interview regarding the evolution of the archive with curator Roma Piotrowska

Related projects include  Enthusiasts Archive Social Cinema and  Documents

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