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How do museums and people in their homes decide what to keep in the face of mass production and consumption?

The Profusion theme addresses the challenge presented by the abundance of material and digital stuff for assembling the future archive. Expanding mass-production and consumption have resulted in more things to potentially save for the future. We look at what is and what is not kept for posterity. We do so by investigating two domains in the United Kingdom that face the prolific past and present in particularly acute ways: homes and museums. Taking an anthropological approach using ethnographic methods, we investigate what is selected for long-term keeping and why? What are the complex yet often unacknowledged motivations, emotions, and judgements that shape what makes it into the future? Our research addresses these questions, while facilitating crossover of insights between homes and museums to hopefully produce new understandings of and responses to profusion.



Afterlives Salon


This salon to accompany the current Octagon exhibition Cabinets of Consequence will explore how heritage and other related forms of conservation practices (including nuclear waste management) make futures.  How do we use material culture to stitch futures from pasts? What do we conserve? What do we get rid of? What do we allow to change? This Salon will be staged as a series of conversations across various themes currently being explored within the Heritage Futures research programme,Event held at Haldane Room, Wilkins Building , Gower Street WC1

Rodney Harrison
Cornelius Holtorf
Caitlin DeSilvey
Sefryn Penrose
Sarah May
Jennie Morgan
Nadia Bartolini
Antony Lyons
Kyle Lee Crossett


Nuclear Waste Management
Deep Space Messaging
World Heritage Site Management
Natural Heritage Management
Built Heritage Management
Cultural Diversity