Collective Museum

Collective Museum

Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz

Public Doors and Windows, Collective Museum (still), 2016.
February 12, 2016
Collective Museum

February 11, 2016–January 4, 2021

University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC)
Institute of the Arts and Sciences
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064

UC Santa Cruz’s Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS) announces the launch of Collective Museum, an innovative, participatory exhibition by artist group Public Doors and Windows (PDW), spread across the university’s scenic and sprawling 2000-acre campus. Collective Museum opens February 11, 2016 and remains on view until January 4, 2021. A tandem exhibition about the project is at the University’s Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery through March 12, 2016.

Harrell Fletcher, Molly Sherman, and Nolan Calisch, the artists of PDW, collaborated with 50 students, faculty, staff, and alumni at UC Santa Cruz to make the Collective Museum.

Participants provided sites, stories, objects, and images about their experiences on the UC Santa Cruz campus, its history, and unique natural location. Together these sites and stories form the building blocks for PDW’s conceptual museum of the university, with examples of the work that goes on here, the people who pursue it, and the landscape that envelops it. Visitors can experience Collective Museum through: the signage at each site; a museum catalogue; gallery walls in campus buildings with photographs documenting the sites; and a mobile tour accessible through a GPS-linked website, complete with first-person audio or textual testimony by each participant.

The sites and exhibits of this imaginative museum range widely, including the redwood grove where eco-sexual performance artists Beth Stephens (UC Santa Cruz Professor of Art) and Annie Sprinkle first married the earth; the Senior Commons Room where the first international meeting was held to discuss sequencing the human genome; the site where students protesting apartheid in South Africa spoke on a payphone with Winnie Mandela in 1985; and a copse of trees where a mountain lion research subject killed one of the many deer that graze on campus. As IAS Founding Director John Weber explains, “Collective Museum responds brilliantly to the huge scale, distinct history, and unique natural beauty of the UC Santa Cruz campus. Two years in the making, it offers a textbook example of ‘social practice’ and why this approach to art speaks to so many artists today.”

Collective Museum was curated by the Institute’s Founding Director, John Weber, UC Santa Cruz PhD candidate Rachel Nelson, and Director/Curator Shelby Graham of the Sesnon Gallery.

UC Santa Cruz’s Institute of the Arts and Sciences, a unit of the Division of the Arts, originates art, science, and interdisciplinary exhibitions, events, and activities, working closely with faculty and students, artists, scientists, technologists, and humanists. The Institute is currently offering a range of public programs, sponsoring residencies, and conducting a nomadic exhibition program while fundraising for a new facility.

For more information email[email protected].


Collective Museum has been generously supported by grants from the UC Institute for Research in the Arts, the Arts Dean’s Fund for Excellence of the UC Santa Cruz Division of the Arts, the Alumni Fund for Visiting Artists, Nion McEvoy (’74) and the McEvoy Family Fund, Patricia (’88) and Rowland Rebele, Jock Reynolds (’69), and by annual donors to the IAS.

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Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz
February 12, 2016

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