The Ethics Committee of Dark Conservation

Curated Workshop & Exhibition DisplayMuseu da Quinta de Santiago
Porto Design Biennale, 2019

'The Ethics Committee' essay. Link here

With: Gillian Russell & Professor Ana Sofia Carvalho.

The project was part of Fiction Practice curated by Mariana Pestana

The Ethics Committee of Dark Conservation was a multi-layered and collaborative week-long workshop that culminated in a group exhibition of fictional museum conservation reports. The project involved designers and curators undertaking transdisciplinary research under the guise of a fictional Collection Committee. The group worked to acquire a single artefact and then represent it to the public through conservation reports that embody different value systems expressed as a pluriverse of fictional worlds. The term pluriverse has been taken from Mario Blaser and Marisol de la Cadena and can be defined as the existence of many co-existing worlds, against the practice of one world that dominates over all others.

 

The project used the imaginary as a tool to not only visualise alternatives—that is itself an initial step towards social change—but, crucially, as a vehicle to collectively author new stories to provoke into being an environment where there are many truths of equal standing. In this way, the work actively sought to be in opposition to the singular truths that dominate society and that often go unseen and unchallenged. To put it differently, the Ethics Committee of Dark Conservation used fiction as a route towards the public prioritisation of other ways of knowing.  

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Installation shot of The Ethics Committee of Dark Conservation display as part of Fiction Practice curated by Mariana Pestana at Porto Design Biennale, 2019. Photo by Renato-Cruz-Santos. 

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Installation shot of The Ethics Committee of Dark Conservation display as part of Fiction Practice curated by Mariana Pestana at Porto Design Biennale, 2019. Photo by Renato-Cruz-Santos.