Futurecollecting Intro

Questions for Future Collections

In what ways will museums change in the 21st century? Will they (should they?) survive in their current form?

Should the way we collect art evolve to reflect the way artistic practices have shifted?  The object is no longer the sole focus of creative production, so how do artistic practices based on conversations, experiences, and performances take their place within the collection?

Perhaps the way we present objects and ideas has to change in the era of information.  Can artists show us the way to new kinds of presentations, and even discover new possibilities for the institution?

Collections as Conversations

This was the premise for our launch symposium in February 2016, which showcased recent projects that have attempted to get under the skin of collecting, and which have produced new ways of thinking about collections.

As well as a keynote address about the “Useful Museum” from Alistair Hudson, (Director of MIMA and member of the Turner Prize Jury in 2015), there were talks from Rose Lejeune, originating curator of the “Collecting the Ephemeral” project, and Lindsay Taylor, Art Curator at University of Salford, who has initiated a collecting collaboration with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester. 

In Scotland, the research scheme “Affiliate: Thinking Collections” has enabled collections curators to have periods of intense exchange with artists, curators and writers who normally work outside the sphere of institutional collecting, bringing surprising and stimulating results.

As well as featuring these projects in upcoming case studies, Futurecollecting will continue to seek out proposals, provocations, and visions that redefine collecting in the 21st century.