Last week, I had the honor of being one of the keynote speakers at an event, held at the Triennale di Milano on January 23, which marked the conclusion of an ambitious four-year EU research project on the theme of European Museums in the Age of Migrations. (That’s our age, in case you are wondering.)
The project in question is described as follows on the project website:
MeLa* European Museums in an age of migrations is a four-year Research Project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme, which aims to delineate new approaches for museums in relation with the conditions posed by the migrations of people, cultures, ideas, information and knowledge in the global world. It aims moreover to evaluate how much these changes can interfere with the organization, communication strategies physical structures and the architecture of the exhibition places. Its main objectives are to advance knowledge in the field and to support museum communities, practitioners, experts and policymakers in developing new missions and forms of museums “an age of migrations.”
At the behest of the organizers, my presentation was framed by some reflections on my own practice as a scholar-theorist-thinker, curator, designer, and technologist involved with various types of museums. These initial remarks were followed by a more extended presentation of the slide deck of aphorisms that I’m sharing below. They are divided into eight overlapping nodes. Some reflect immediate experiences in the U.S. and Italy. Some fall under the rubric of emerging thoughts. Some are provocations intended to plant seeds for experimentation and further thought. Though they don’t always overtly emphasize the primacy of face-to-face experiences with physical objects, they are anchored in the conviction that they remain fundamental. The question is how to intensify, expand, enhance, and democratize them, whether from a sensorial or curatorial standpoint.
Feel free to share, critique, rework; a pdf version of the file may be accessed here. (If you do cite or publish them, however, I’d appreciate your referencing the source.)