Ministry of Remoldability

The Ministry of Remoldability is an ongoing project about how we think, hope and act for the future. It uses lo-fi, playful methods to explore big ideas in participatory settings. 

The Ministry has taken up residence at arts organisations, museums, festivals, conferences and other events. It has worked with artists professional and nonprofessional, human beings older and younger, and people who would prefer not to be categorised. Some projects are created in direct response to a certain event and others are a way of giving expression to something that one of us has been puzzling over for some time, in a variety of settings. If you’d like to work with the Ministry of Remoldability, please get in touch. Below is a selection of projects to give a sense of what the Ministry is all about.

MoR: The Unlympics

Deptford Lounge (July 2015), Wilderness Festival (August 2015), Dartington Community Day (June 2016)

The Unlympics is an hour-long family-friendly workshop which takes familiar events and turns them upside down and inside out to playfully question whether being the biggest, fastest, strongest really is what we’re after. 

Events in the heptathlon include the 100 metres Slowest Running, Strictly Come Tiniest Dancing, the Accidentally Musical Slow Reading Team event, the Shot-Egg Putt, and the world-famous Obstable Course leading a blind-folded partner linked to you by 5 sheets of Andrex (other brands also available).

The Unlympics is conceived as a collaboration with NOW Live Events and first featured as part of their Mindfulness-orientated programme at Deptford Lounge and Wilderness Festival.

MoR: Future Backwards Pursuit

Einstein’s Garden at Green Man Festival (August 2015)

3 dice. 3 and a half minutes. A pile of lego. Design an artefact from 2150 - GO!

In the future everything is square. No, really. Squrgers, squoothbrushes, squicycles and squaroplanes. The Squadron of Squares are kind of bored of this so they’re back from the future with a pile of Squego and 3 dice to get some ideas from the non-squares of 2015 about how else things could be.

Future Backwards Pursuit is a imagination gameshow for anyone from age 3 upwards. Will everything be awesome in the future? The bricks are in your hands.

MoR: Plasticine Futures

Barbican Creating Conversations (March 2014), Culture & Ecology Network, Young Vic (January 2015), Transition Network Conference (September 2015)

Option A. The future is not bright, or orange, or any other shade of desirable colour. It’s some kind of post-apocalyptic distopia. It’s The Road meets Waterworld meets Children of Men meets Hunger Games.

Option B. We came close to messing it all up but thankfully technology saved us. Hoverboards, androids, colonies on different planets - it’s all ok. Thank god for tech. Or thank tech for tech. Or something. Whatever - we survived and it’s shiny.

2 options. 10 instruction cards. Lots of plasticine. Let’s sort out which future it is, once and for all.

Most representations of the future in films, books and other art forms are dominated by either Option A or Option B. Plasticine Futures takes an aikido-like approach to imagining the future; rather than fighting against what people want to imagine, it invites participants to indulge Options A and B to the extreme, build intricate worlds out of sophisticated futurology materials (plasticine, newspaper and straws), and see what we find on the other side.

MoR: (In)conceivable Futures: It’s a museum, Jim, but not as we know it...

Curators of the Future, British Museum (April 2015)

In not too distant future, we may find ourselves developing a different relationship to travel; it is likely that fuel will become more -perhaps even prohibitively- expensive. What does this mean for museums? How could they evolve? And what does it mean for audiences, objects, communities, funders? 

Scenario 1. Museums have chosen to store their original objects somewhere safe.  Each museum has a digital catalogue of the plans to 3-d print any of these stored objects. Audiences visit their local museum and use 3-d printers to make a copy of whichever piece(s) from the collection that they want to see on that particular day. At the end of their visit, audiences can choose for their 3-d printed replica to go on display in the museum, for the printing material to be recycled, or to take the replica home (for a fee). 

Scenario 2. Museum buildings have closed; fuel is expensive and few people were able to travel to visit them. Audiences are now able to access collections online, utilising 3-d wearable experience technologies.

Scenario 3. Museum buildings have closed; fuel is expensive and few people were able to travel to visit them. Museums on wheels –in carts and drawn by horses- travel from town to village sharing original objects and stories of what the world used to be like. 

What are the implications, advantages and disadvantages of the three scenarios?How would they work? And which would you choose to work in?