This series of conversations focuses on the immanent mutation of museums and universities in the light of post-corona crisis. Institutional mutation in the current pandemic context describes the major historical shift in forms of human livelihood we are experiencing, which disrupted existing borders, boundaries and crossroads – between material infrastructures and structures of imagination; humans and non-humans, creativity and survival, tragedy and regulation, debt and freedom, autonomy and openness – but also opened the possibility of their redefinition.

On the one hand, the pandemic has accelerated some post-capitalist conditions [the disappearance of work and wage-related income; work automation and zoomification; degrowth, commons of care; credit pooling and debt cancellation; and the decommodification of urban spaces in the form of de-touristification and collapse of the housing market] and contaminated capitalism with temporary modalities and structures of commons. On the other hand, c-19 has strengthened old social stratification and set the precondition for even harsher regimes of informational labour. Post-pandemic reconstruction will entail the radical rethinking of museums and Biennials, as well as the academic institution; the reconstruction of the exhausted, indebted and exterminated ‘public’ (audience/student/client) starting from existing structures of care, mutual aid and commonfare and the contamination of the cultural factory with outsider’ communal practices and intelligences. We will interrogate the future potential of the current state of crisis and sketch a long-term roadmap and manifesto for the cultural commons. How can this be possible? Are the current agents of culture who should lead this process? Who are we talking to? How much do we need to change to make it possible? In order to respond to these questions, we intend to open a “situated” conversation with agents from different realms: education, museums, activism, and from different regional contexts, combining theoretical and practical approaches. The focus will be transversal, addressing issues which are common and urgent both to re-think the existing institutions: from the museum, to the university, and to imagine future ones anew:

  • The material conditions of culture after the pandemia (touching the ground): territories, ecologies, economies, technologies, mobility, production, labor, cultural commons.
  • Redefining the institution: social foundations, instituent processes, democratic governance, ecologies of care, sustainability, change of scale, new dispositives, contaminations, de-colonizing and de-patriarchalizing cultural value, the production of commonfare.

These conversations articulate around post-capitalist and decolonised pedagogy.