More things can happen..

More things can happen than will, or have

Composite transcript CompDoc 25-96473fz36-3541 (fragments): Chelsea centenary celebrations 2063. See the original document

– live thread recall Prof. Neil Cummings

Neil Cummings




And then, in 2’31, in the blink of an eye, the spectacular roller-coaster ride of the Guggenheim Foundation was over. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the cluster in New York, Venice, Bilbao Helsinki, and the Deutsche – Guggenheim in Berlin, in Shanghai and Rio, together with the unfinished project in Moscow, were all taken into UN-Multitude stewardship.

The demise of the Guggenheim, the concomitant collapse of the Singularity market , forced other private museums into stewardship.

They all filed for Chapter 12 protection.

It was a spectacular reverse of resource flows, tens of thousands of art works poured into public collections from previously private institutions.

An ethic of public generosity was re-animated, even encouraged.

Everyone benefited.


At about the same time, maybe a bit later, I think, about 2’33 Hydrocarbon use peaked, at something like, …………… 42.7 Gigatons.

Disinvestment in the teens, the Ethical Rating Agencies, they really had an affect.


Oh and this! This!

This I remember locally, its hard wired. Even the date. It’s a seismic event.

The 6th February at the Ferguson Research cluster at the Manchester Open University. An organic-synthetic assembly participated in the legendary Turing Test.

In an examination that lasted, like,……….. three and a half hours?

A panel of human judges couldn’t  agree on which of the participants was a human subject. For the first time, an organic-synthetic assembly was credited with human-like intelligence. An evolutionary firewall was breached.

Chelsea College of Art

 Chelsea College of Art, Manresa Road, London, 1963.


Anyway, I digress, the thing was……… Ex Habere  produced a whole new temporary community.

We started working with regional institutions, the New Economics Foundation, Midlands  Contemporary,……….. Rachel at Common Gound……… and we began a self-reflexive critique of the 19th-century exhibitionary model.

Of course, a model we did so much to initiate, replicate and develop. This 19thC exhibitionary – model,  and……….. its 20th C intensification, was obviously unsustainable. It was a corporate model of a museum,….. gallery,………or academy.

Institutions had to constantly expand, commission signature buildings, evolve huge administrative hierarchies for Exhibition – Risk Management, Health and Safety, Widening Participation… Education – Quality Assessment, Research Ethics,  Development, Sustainability, Enterprise, and so on, and so on.

To grow, exponentially.

So in 2’26, the Cluster resolved to institute – in the ancient sense of the word, of founding and supporting….creative practices. We began to re-think ourselves as a creative institution, more fluid, porus, nimble, ……embedded…………lateral. Less spectacular.

We began to play, risk,………… co-operate, research and rapidly prototype – not only through research exhibitions like Ex Habere - but also with our organisational structure. Some heritage values were lost – like nested committee structures, or line management –  and others produced, nurtured and cherished.

Like when working with Intermediæ in Madrid, we learnt to invest, long-term, without regard to an interested return.

We obviously devolved locally, and also began to networked globally. With new partners  -  the National Museums of the Americas in Brazil, Ker Thiossane in Dakar, Senegal,  - on the AfroPixel project, and at the Sarai Centre for Organic Architecture, at Ranchi, in the fledgling Indian multitude.


I was only tangentially involved in Almost Real, but it probably lead me to be involved as advisor in 2’49, to the Chelsea Agent cluster. We lobbied for a new Article to be added to the UN-Multitude Declaration of Human Rights.

According to Article 6 of the UN-MDHR, all humans are persons under the law. But there is a philosophical and legal distinction between humans and persons. Humans are those that fall within the biological classification Homo sapiens, whereas a person refers to those with certain traits or characteristics.

I think it was Locke, was it John Locke………….

Anyway. Organic-synthetic assemblies were approaching person-hood, yet were clearly unable to enter the biological classification Homo sapiens. The cluster petitioned to add a 39th article to the UN-MDHR, extending human rights to appropriate organic-synthetic assemblies.


Oh. Oh, no. I see time is running out, so I don’t have time to recount Chelsea’s part in the bicentenary of the Great Exhibition. Anyway, many of you there will have participated…


Well, you all know, our Composite meshwork went live in 2’54. All common data, information and knowledge, every common archive, database, collection, and DNA storage device is accessible live and in real time.

Extended by, and assembled by composite, our desires, investments, and attentions produce new logistical populations, arrayed in myriad networks of association, and concentrated in multiple locations – of persons, institutions, assemblies,  technologies, and geographies.


Ok,  that’s it!

The local thread I’ve been running is out of time, its a good place to stop, and, I’m exhausted.

We’re more or less up to date. Oh, I’m sure to have missed so much out…………..

But today, throughout the Cluster, in all our intensities, we’re celebrating.

Thank you so much for you attention. Please feel free to reconnect to Composite. Enjoy the rest of the celebrations, I think there are drinks waiting for you, I hope to see you all soon.

Hasta luego

Chelsea College of Art


See the original document (CompDoc 25-96473fz36-3541), read the complete transcript, or see the beautiful accompanying publication More things can happen than will, or have designed by Metod Blejec, it contains the narrative architecture.


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