1st Edition

Curating Lively Objects Exhibitions Beyond Disciplines

Edited By Lizzie Muller, Caroline Seck Langill Copyright 2022
    250 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Curating Lively Objects explores the role of things as catalysts in imagining futures beyond disciplines for museums and exhibitions. Authors describe how their curatorial collaborations with diverse objects, from rocks to robots, generate new ways of organising and sharing knowledge.

    Bringing together leading artists and curators from Australia and Canada, this volume addresses object liveliness from a range of entwined perspectives, including new materialism, decolonial thinking, Indigenous epistemologies, environmentalism, feminist critique and digital aesthetics. Foregrounding practice-based curatorial scholarship, the book focuses on rigorous reflexive accounts of how curating is done. It contributes to global topics in curatorial research, including time and memory beyond and before disciplinarity; the relationship between human and non-human across different ontologies; and the interaction between Indigenous knowledge and disciplinary expertise in interpreting museum collections.

    Curating Lively Objects will be of interest to scholars and students in the fields of curatorial studies, museum studies, cultural heritage, art history, Indigenous studies, material culture and anthropology. It also provides a vital resource for professionals working in museums and galleries around the world who are seeking to respond creatively, ethically and inclusively to the challenge of changing disciplinary boundaries.

    List of Figures;

    List of Contributors



    Part I: Troublesome Objects

    Chapter 1

    Decolonising archives: killing art to write its history 

    Brook Garru Andrew and Paris Lettau

    Chapter 2

    Rendezvous with the Indigenous Art Collection: how to ‘raise a flag’

    Ryan Rice

    Chapter 3

    Troublemakers in the museum: Robots, romance and the performance of liveliness

    Anna Davis and Lizzie Muller

    Chapter 4

    Curating data-driven information-based art: Outlive or let die

    Sarah Cook 

    Part II: Metabolizing Objects

    Chapter 5

    Digesting institutional critique

    Lisa Myers

    Chapter 6

    Curatorial care and the lively materials of biomedical art

    Bec Dean

    Chapter 7

    Living and semi-living artefacts on display: The monster that therefore is a living epistemic thing

    Oron Catts, Chris Salter and Ionat Zurr

    Chapter 8

    Troubling (natural) history: Bonnie Devine, Mark Dion, and Musée de la Chasse et la Nature

    Caroline Seck Langill

    Chapter 9

    Social objects, art, and agriculture

    Lucas Ihlein and Caroline Seck Langill

    Part III: Energetic Objects

    Chapter 10

    Mineral materialities in contemporary art: Between intra-action, discursive magic and grief

    Randy Lee Cutler

    Chapter 11

    Objects, energies and curating resonance across disciplines

    Katie Dyer and Lizzie Muller

    Chapter 12

    Feminist new materialism, religion and perception

    Sally McKay

    Chapter 13

    Digital-physical-emotional immersion in country: Bearing witness to the Appin massacre

    Tess Allas and Lizzie Muller



    Lizzie Muller is a curator and researcher specialising in audience experience, reflective-curatorial practice and changing disciplinary formations in museums. She is Associate Professor at UNSW, Sydney.

    Caroline Seck Langill is a writer and curator who researches intersections between art and science, and the related fields of media art history. She is Professor at OCAD University, Toronto, Ontario.