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Museums as Systems

In June 2022, Museums as Systems engaged arts workers and enthusiasts to think deeply about the existing methodologies of museum work and to reimagine how a museum could be in the future. The two-day symposium proposed an alternative mode of study and work that encourages interdisciplinarity, centers imagination and curiosity, and destabilizes dominant hierarchies. 

For the first Museums as Systems convening, panelists and participants discussed the overarching question of “How are museums systems of artistry, archives, education, labor, care, communication, and community?” By centering care and collective action, the inaugural iteration of Museums as Systems provided ideas to systematically revitalize the museum space.   

The following panel discussions explore various theoretical and practical aspects of museum work while also placing the voices of established arts and cultural workers in dialogue with the next generation of thinkers and workers. Thus, the symposium created a space of multivocal, multigenerational circular learning that meditated on how museums are functioning now, what never was, and what could come next.  

 

Safeguarding Our History

Articles

Records of Relation

Yume Murphy

Amateur archivists have thus been able to repair historically neglected archives while simultaneously co-creating a future in which they no longer exist at the margins.  

Amateur archivists have thus been able to repair historically neglected archives while simultaneously co-creating a future in which they no longer exist at the margins.

 


Grandmother’s House: The Black Radical Tradition of Collecting

Museum Professionals Seminar

Together, we engage in a study of the vitality of Black space-making and the Black radical tradition of collecting as a vital dialectic in Black resistance. We traverse the worlds where walls talk

Together, we engage in a study of the vitality of Black space-making and the Black radical tradition of collecting as a vital dialectic in Black resistance. We traverse the worlds where walls talk Black and adornment is liberating.


Labors of Love: Proposing Participatory Archival and Para-Archival Practices

Kareal Amenumey, Christian Bryant, Veronica Careton, Amber Edmond, and Shanell Kitt

Engaging with archives as Black people—whether to recover buried histories or to go beyond them and memorialize material and digital future histories— necessitates the disruption of their harmful

Engaging with archives as Black people—whether to recover buried histories or to go beyond them and memorialize material and digital future histories— necessitates the disruption of their harmful narratives, practices, and structures. 


From the Archive c. 1970

Kayla Coleman

As I continue with my fellowship in the Studio Museum archive, I have come to fully appreciate the role the Museum plays as an influencer of Black culture across the world. 

As I continue with my fellowship in the Studio Museum archive, I have come to fully appreciate the role the Museum plays as an influencer of Black culture across the world. 


Archive Spotlight

Mimi Lester

Arranging and describing an archival collection is called processing, and processing is ruled by a foundational principle called respect des fonds.

Arranging and describing an archival collection is called processing, and processing is ruled by a foundational principle called respect des fonds.