A response to article in Guardian exploring steampunk, fact & fiction in museums

As a new exhibition opens at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Heloise Finch-Boyer asks whether we should laugh at the history of science?

This article in the Guardian raises a really interesting question and one I am presently exploring with two artists amd three museums, in Gloucestershire, UK, in my project ‘Friction – where fact and fiction meet’. The Museum sector focuses mostly on facts and knowledge, whereas contemporary art often corrupts them, creating alternative narratives that are inspired by collections. Look what Banksy did in Bristol City Museum. Tara Downs, Bart Sabel and I will be working on the production of a Miniature Museum of Museums. The artists do research at each location and the final work will tour and carry with it the various stories – some fact, some fiction, some creating friction. This is a pilot but a full project could be rolled out that can grow, adapt and change endlessly, leaving traces at every venue it visits.

Their art practice involves interactive elements, both analogue and digital. They challenge the don’t-touch nature of museum displays, indeed the audiences are required to contribute to the stories and to animate their works.

If you want to see some work by Tara Downs and Bart Sable now they are exhibiting at Newark Park, a National Trust property near Wotton under Edge, in ‘Selected’. Selected 2014 runs from 23 April to 8 June, Wednesday to Sunday, and bank holiday Mondays, 11am to 5pm

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