Participatory Indexing

2018

In 2018, we made two participatory object indexes with collaborators and participants. One took place at the Five Oaks Museum (then the Washington County Museum) and involved creating an object inventory of all the portable objects mentioned in the oral histories that made up their History of Agriculture Exhibition. We created individual museum labels for each item and invited museum visitors to imagine and create the objects from clay. Objects were either taken by participants or added to the museum show.

The second iteration involved making an inventory of all the objects in an essay called Marx's Coat by Peter Stallybrass with artist Ariana Jacob and students in Portland State University's CORE program. Students chose objects from the essay to create out of clay and, since the text was about exchange value and commodity fetishism, they each ascribed a 'value' to their object. Some objects could be exchanged for money, others for something of equal value as assessed by the viewer, others still for the cost of the class in which we made the work.

In both cases, the project produced a visual index of our collective reading/making experience of the texts involved.

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Creations made by Five Oaks Museum participants

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Creations made by PSU art students