Testing Grounds –
It isn’t an institution, a gallery or a museum. There are similarities and there are differences.
It is an infrastructure project.
It is research.
It is a heterotopia; a different place.
It is a secular site; different to monolithic architectural objects that are museums and institutions.
It is a queer space; a zone of potentiality that cannot ever be fully articulated.
It is feminist and anarchic, seeking to replace involuntary coercive hierarchy with decentralised free association.
It is an open space, reserved for a special quality of attention, contemplation and learning.
It does not attempt to suspend time through constant lighting and temporal conditions. It does not make a distinction between inside and outside, fact or fiction, reality or illusion.
Its attention to aesthetics shares, historically, in the development of major philosophical enquiry that is ‘part of the broad and general tendency to furnish the secular with new value’ (Carol Duncan, 1995).
It opens up the potential for the way art has been understood or altered since the white museum or the white cube.
It wishes for a closer encounter with art by removing the clear boundary between artist and spectator.
It is cluttered. It de-sacralises artistic space. It is not divine. It will not last forever. It is robust and un-special, which makes it remarkable.
It is young. There is not the problem of trying to teach an old dog new tricks.
It has no prescription of utility. The only criterion is experimental creativity.
It should actively include people that the system (institutions, galleries and museums) forgets.
It doesn’t always know what it is, and that is the point.
… This manifesto is open ended and extremely vulnerable to change.