What can exhibitions do? In this session Michael Guggenheim discusses various ongoing examples of thinking through exhibitions that experiment with publics in worldmaking. Such exhibitions differ from the logic of artworks which supposedly speak for themselves and engage viewing conventions. They also differ from ethnographic or historical exhibitions that transmit multi-modal information – images, texts and sounds to publics. Michael will discuss exhibitions that are both tools to produce data and engage audiences in creating new worlds. Such exhibitions draw on a history of experimenting with audiences that draws both on feminist self-experiments, ethnomethodological breaching experiments and a renewed interest in experiments as performative methods.

Michael Guggenheim is a sociologist at the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the co-founder and convenor of the MA Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths. He has published widely on expertise, lay people, disasters, change of use of buildings, environmental research, food and social theory. He has developed numerous performative experiments, most recently together with Jan-Peter Voss the exhibition “Taste! Experiments for the Senses” at the Museum of Natural History Berlin.


2:00–3:00 PM
Intro by Viktor & presentation by Michael

Break (15 min.)

3:00–4:30 PM
Discussion with Michael. If you like, bring and show exhibition examples to discuss.