As a group of us are on the eve of a session at the National Art Education Association conference “Making Room For Participation In The Changing Space Of Education,” it seems useful to revisit the work from the AAM team in 2012 which initiated these conversations. Beginning with a shared desire to develop resources, thinking, and create a language for experimental work in museums, that team created* a manifesto as a result of our formative discussions.
At that time, we had collectively finished new and experimental work with contemporary social practice projects spanning the Hammer, Walker, and Portland Art Museums, and the evolving work in the Center for Creative Connections at the Dallas Museum of Art. As I see how the work has formalized and expanded over the last two years, I’d only make a slight changes. You can see the original here.
An Elastic Manifesto for Museums & Artists
(if they feel like reading it)
Otherwise Known As: Why Do Experimental Work
It will expand your role in the community: The work is more social and each project appeals to different audiences. It relies on networks inside and outside the museum to function and therefore has a greater reach.
It will make you better at your job.
It pushes all departments: it innovates all areas of the museum, by engaging them in the art-making.
It is the closest thing so far to working in line with how artists create.
You are furthering a conversation with contemporary work: these projects directly engage with new art forms and publics.
Together we are re-imagining the system, and that is good.
It’s the work of today. It can integrate with all the tools and systems we have at hand.
Just make it happen.
Maria Mortati, an Independent Museum Exhibit Designer, Sarah Schultz the Director of Education and Curator of Public Practice, Walker Art Center, Susan Diachisin the Kelli and Allen Questrom Director of the Center for Creative Connections, Dallas Museum of Art, Stephanie Parrish the Associate Director of Education and Public Programs, Portland Art Museum