About the UK Museum of Ordure

Everything that is represented in the UK Museum of Ordure (UKMO) is subject to the vagaries of an uncontrolled internal auto-destructive process (not a virus) which slowly deforms and disables all information held in the museum. This is comparable to the decaying processes which affect all artifacts in museums, regardless of all attempts at preservation: the retouching, repainting, cleaning, etc, which are incorporated risks to the purity of artifacts when first acquired by museums. Even ‘successful’ renovations are subject to periodic changes resulting from shifts in conservation policies. Eventually (and in accordance with the fallibilities of memory) artifacts are institutionally, progressively, determinedly and inadvertantly altered by acts of conservation (sometimes unintentional acts of institutional vandalism) until they cease to be recognisable as the objects first acquired. Of course in both cases – in the virtual environment and in the material world – the processes of generation, decay, and entropy are paramount. Museums are by this definition charged with achieving the impossible.

UKMO is primarily ‘immaterial’, but is no less susceptible to irrevocable change, revealing hardly perceptable but accreting shifts in qualities of appearance, meaning, and information, even as it consciously attempts to maintain the seamless surface of ‘the museum’ as a custodian or guardian of culture. There is a further question as to the inevitable fallability of bureaucracies common to institutional behaviours where the very systems employed are similarly subject to uncontrolled interference. In this respect, UKMO regards its endeavours – including the changing conditions it is subject to – and the subjection of changes on the immaterial condition of the artifact – as being subject to the fortunes of institutional bodies in general. However, UKMO is arguably of a different order. By continuing to preserve itself and at the same time embrace the inviolability of change, it asserts that changes wrought beyond the museum’s control neither lower nor raise the values of the artifact in its remit. Are we witness to the death of something and the birth of something else? UKMO embraces all that changes while attempting to preserve productive contradiction and undetermined resolutions. It suggests a restless state of things and thinglessness, a dimension in the state of ‘becoming’, where redundant values may come to rest.