Center for the Study of the Collective. Collaboration with spurse. Indianapolis Museum of Art. June 11 – December 3, 2006.
The Center is dedicated to the exploration of the full space of agency in the Indianapolis Museum of Art and on its grounds. The Center houses a laboratory and reference library and is equipped to conduct ongoing research. All visitors are welcome to browse the archive of books, DVDs, bacterial and fungal samples, as well as copious archival documents on the emergent agency of the IMA. The CSC proposes that politics needs to be re-conceptualized from a new ecosystemic perspective. By invoking the term politics we mean to invoke the questions of “what matters?” and “what is to be done?” Such a politics needs to consider the full space of agency – both human and non-human. If 90% of all life is bacteria in both the environment and the human body – this alone requires us to re-situate our methodology. The human is a field of incorporations – bacterial, fungal, insectal, material, social, and technological. The IMA is also a similar and related form of incorporation – that traverses the distinctions of the “natural” and the “social” in a manner that radically questions the validity of these categories. This complex integration of events we term the collective. The second political question then becomes how do we activate the unknowable capacities of these events and bring them to bear on themselves, others and the entire system. Through these processes of activating a complex distributed space of agency, the fundamental assumptions of subjectivity, identity, representation, normative ethics, and politics change and the emergent ecosystem begins to act.