The Constituent Museum
Constellations of Knowledge, Politics and Mediation: A Generator of Social Change
Edited by John Byrne, Elinor Morgan, November Paynter, Aida Sánchez de Serdio, Adela Železnik

Azra Akšamija, Alberto Altés Arlandis, Burak Arikan, James Beighton, Manuel Borja-Villel, Sara Buraya, John Byrne, Jesús Carrillo, Alejandro Cevallos Narváez, Céline Condorelli, Sean Dockray, Özge Ersoy, Carmen Esbrí, Oriol Fontdevila, Amy Franceschini, Janna Graham, Nav Haq, Yaiza Hernández Velázquez, among many others


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What would happen if museums put relationships at the centre of their operations? This question inspires this publication, which offers a diverse, rigorous, and experimental analysis of what is commonly known as education, mediation or interpretation within museum institutions. It regards the visitor not as a passive receiver of predefined content, but as an active member of a constituent body, whom it facilitates, provokes, inspires and learns from.

Popular Culture, Theory / History / Criticism
Moving beyond the practice of mediation as such, the publication situates constituent practices of collaboration and co-production within the existing social-political (neoliberal) context. It does this to reimagine and affect both the physical and organizational structures of museums and galleries. Understanding the challenges of a constituent practice in an integral, interdisciplinary manner is what this publication aspires to. This is explored by placing the museum's constituents—museum professionals, active audience/co-curator, local and political agencies, operational structures and contexts—at the centre of the museum organization and looking at how their positions in society start to shift and change. Issues that are addressed: ownership and power dynamics, collective pedagogy, pedagogy of encounter, collaboration, assent, dissent and consent, co-labour and co-curation (economies of exchange), precarity, and working with interns, archives and how to activate them, broadcasting, digital cultivation, crowdsourcing, and many other topics.

John Byrne is a reader in ‘The Uses of Art’ and director of ‘The Uses of Art Lab’ at Liverpool School of Art and Design (Liverpool John Moores University).
Elinor Morgan is a curator and writer.
November Paynter is director of programmes at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada.
Aida Sánchez De Serdio is an educator, researcher and cultural worker in the fields of visual culture, pedagogy and collaborative arts practices.
Adela Železnik is a curator.

384 pages
Hardback, 17.5x24.5 cm
Valiz, 1st edition 2018
ISBN 9789492095428