Monday Feb 29, 12-1:30pm,  

The Experimental Ethnographies Townsend group is hosting a lunch focus-group with Andrea Steves and Timothy Furstnau (curators of the Museum of Capitalism) to explore the relationships between participation and the museum. In an effort to frame the project of their museum, Andrea and Tim have turned to our group as a source of considered thinking about the process, problems, and products of "participation." In an effort to explore alternative modes of working, we have turned to the Museum of Capitalism to offer the museum as a space of encounter, and even as an ethnographic medium itself.

Refreshments will be provided
The workshop will be comprised of 2 parts:
1. A focus group asking those present to share museum experiences. Optionally, "participants" may go to a museum within the next few weeks and do a common "task." For the task please email anniedanis@berkeley.edu
2. A conversation around the following questions:
  • How might the methods and critiques of anthropological participant observation be used to explore the role of participation in contemporary museum contexts?
  • What is the role of participation in anthropological observation, art, performance, and museum experience, and neoliberal capitalism, and how is it structured, experienced, and measured in these overlapping contexts?
  • When we participate (or don’t) in artworks, in museums exhibits, and/or in capitalism, who participates, who benefits, and who cares (or doesn’t)?

Suggested readings:

Nina Simon, The Participatory Museum



Claire Bishop, Collaboration and Its Discontents (ArtForum)


Please join us with your most recent museum experience in hand.



Event details
Monday, February 29, 2016 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall