Slamming the Anthropocene: Performing climate change in museums

| April 27, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Article - Recent

Year of Publication: 2015

Publisher: National Museum Australia

Author(s): LIbby Robin, Cameron Muir

Journal: reCollections

Volume: 10: 1

Categories: ,

The University of Wisconsin held an Anthropocene Slam in November of 2014. The Slam asked contributors to ‘pitch in a public fishbowl setting’ an object that could represent the Anthropocene in a cabinet of curiosities. The Slam lasted for three days with 25 objects appearing.

… we have a particular new challenge to find the poignancy of objects in a time when there are too many of them. Which objects might enchant audiences and museum visitors in a world marked by the proliferation of things? How can we learn to wonder or be curious about ‘stuff’? The answer, in Mitman’s vision, is that we select and perform or present just a few objects, juxtaposed with others that can carry the Anthropocene story in quirky ways. When the idea of global change is too big and abstract for human comprehension, a small cabinet can act as a microcosm to enable an imaginative and active response. Each object is there for its own story. Together in a cabinet they become a chorus of stories.

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