Postcards from the (future) museum
“In the next 50 years gravity has declined and people and objects no longer reliably stay on the ground. At the museum, the staff is frantic but the visitors are full of joy and attendance records are broken month after month.” What does this mean for museums and their collections? For the staff and visitors? As a museum educator living in this time and space, 50 years from now in Seattle WA, how can you make the world better?
This was one of the scenarios devised by a player in Postcards from the (future) museum at NAEA#18, the National Art Educators Association Conference held in Seattle, WA March 20-24. I led the conference participants in a game session aimed at creating ways to consider possible futures, and working as a team to devise challenges and strategies to deal with such unforseen circumstances. I developed this art education-focused game based on a game created by The Situation Lab and adapted by Matt Finch to help a community thinking and designing its own imaginary future.
At NAEA, players were invited to create cards containing prompts focused on four categories outlining future times and circumstances. Based on cards picked at random, each player created a postcard from the future "assigned to them" that they then sent to each other.
Now imagine that you, a museum professional, receive a postcard describing a situation from such a future world.
With your art education skills, what can you do to make the world better?
Here’s some of the postcards sent. What would you do?