neil cummings

Research Architecture


Values we value


I was invited by Joasia Krysa, the then Director of the Kunsthal Aarhus to contribute to a programme of events entitled The Perfect Institution: Culture 2017.

On the 11th December 2014 I made a public presentation using Self Portrait: Arnolfini and V&A bicentenial as speculative case studies. And on the 12th I facilitated a closed workshop  for Aarhus staff.

The Perfect Institution, was a programme of events across the fields of culture and business that took place  between September 2013 and February 2014 . It set out to offer a pragmatic guide to constructing an art institution that responds to future cultural and economic conditions. The aim, was not merely to adapt to change, but to begin to shape those changes. ­

The programe has now been published as;

Speculations on The Perfect Institution

I contributed a Research Architecture for the KA Cluster 1754 - 2042.

Other contributions are: Tom Wilcox from the UK’s leading arts management consultancy Counterculture identifies the core business of an arts institution; service design expert Søren Bechmann discusses the basic principles of service institutions; researcher Irene Campolmi explores what ethics can offer contemporary art institutions; Kathrin Luz offers seven pieces of advice on ‘how to communicate perfectly in the art world’; and finally, curator Tom Trevor reflects upon the recent history of ‘institutional critique’ and the future of the self-critical art institutions.

Here is an extract of the Research Architecture

2042 - KA Cluster, 125 year celebrations.

2042 - Future wellbeing overwrites debt as a source of value production.

2041 - The Cluster co-institutes economies of trust and attention. Local skirmishes of capture break out, there is a diffused sense of emergency, a low-grade war in the political economy of attention.

2041 - At the Helium-3 colony, nanotech swarms mine off-world resources.

2040 - UN-M Report on Human Mobility records that almost 720 million people are currently residing in a city outside their place of birth, with resource stress implications on regions of origin, transit, and destination.

2039 - KA Cluster sponsored Article 39, UN-MDHR, adopted. 2039 - Our Composite meshwork is live. Protected by the GPL v4, all data, information and knowledge, every archive, database, collection, and DNA storage device is accessible live, and in real time.

2038 - With the production of assemblies for 1:1 replication, singularity is overwritten by difference.

2037 - KA agent cluster propose and lobby for Article 39 UN-MDHR, to extend rights to organic-synthetic assemblies.

2036 - Cadarache Research Centre in southern France, commission the Faraday Experimental Reactor (FER) and nuclear fusion finally comes on stream.

2036 - Major KA Cluster research project Almost Real: Composite Consciousness is an exploration of logistical, distributed ‘subject’ relations and the social identity of those present, and those not.

2035 - Private energy and critical service infrastructures begin to be taken into local Multitude stewardship. Energy is the largest local currency by volume, transacted globally.

2034 - Pressure from looming Patent and Copyright dissent encourages the UN-Multitude Commons Legislation to revert restrictive property terms, to a standard 15 years.

2034 - The Clusters co-developed Multitude Affinity Index (M_AI) is deployed. The index measures how logistical assemblies experience their emotional connections with others, and the strength of those relationships.

2033 - Increasing energy prices, extreme climate fluctuations and waves of nutritional stress produce a Resource Crisis in Europe. There is a leaking away of source social capitals, like affinity, trust and generosity.

2032 - The Cluster’s first Simpatia Building, Fortaleza, in the Ceará region of Brazil experiments with additively manufactured habitats, responsive to emotional economies.

2032 - Denmark declared first carbon-neutral regional economy, and Copenhagen (2035) the first retrofitted carbon-neutral city. Masdar City in Abu Dhabi was purpose built and carbon neutral in 2023.

2031 - Organic-synthetic assemblies pass 1950s Turing Test, an evolutionary firewall is breached.

2030 - The KA Cluster is at root, as agency overwrites spectatorship.

2029 - Neural headsets widely available with intellectual and emotional firewalls as standard. Firewalls produce the securities necessary for connected privacy, ordered liberty and democratic self government.

2029 - Trust, circulating through logistical systems of attention; systems of capture, accumulation, and distribution, produce new ecologies of value; The KA Cluster is a super-node in these economies.

2028 - Operating System: Governance, social research adds an executable function to the KA Cluster’s research and exhibitionary core.

2028 - Carbon Tipping Point (CTP) hydrocarbon use peaks, emissions recorded at 42.7 Gtons. Median life expectancy reaches 100.

2027 - Various global models of Multitude Governance are at work - e.g. adhocracies, convivia, grupos de afinidad - within dynamic processes of development, composed of regional identities and interest communities.

2027 - Singularity Art Bond market suspended, coincides with mass private museum collapse; collections revert to the commons under local Multitude stewardship.


See the complete 1st iteration of  Research Architecture for the KA Cluster 1754 - 2042.

The Research Architecture and initial  presentation were informed by Self Portrait: Arnolfini and the V&A bicentenial




56.1551, 10.202

Kunsthal Aarhus
J. M. Mørks Gade 13,
8000 Aarhus

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