Experiments in Practice: Museums, Art Institutions and Social Change in the 21st Century

Considering how institutional experimentation can attend to the pressing issues of today

An audience listens to a presentation at Experiments in Practice, 2017

Experiments in Practice, photography © Tate 2017 Ana Escobar

An audience listens to a speaker at Experiments in Practice

Experiments in Practice, photography © Tate 2017 Ana Escobar

A speaker presents a slideshow to the audience

Experiments in Practice, photography © Tate 2017 Ana Escobar

A breakout session in discussion at Experiments in Practice, 2017

Experiments in Practice, photography © Tate 2017 Ana Escobar

A group in discussion sat in front of a mind-map

Experiments in Practice, photography © Tate 2017 Ana Escobar

Experiments in Practice: Museums, Art institutions and Social Change in the 21st Century, was a research event that took place on 5 Jun 2017 at Tate Modern. It was attended by international curators, artists, academics, educators and museum professionals who addressed questions of how institutional experimentation can attend to the pressing issues of today. There was a focus on knowledge sharing and generation throughout, with leading museum professionals giving short provocations in the morning that were further explored through working groups and practical activities in the afternoon sessions.

The questions addressed at the event included:

  • What can museums and art institutions do in the 21st century to address issues of social change and how can they be most effective?
  • What are the limits of what they can do and what can they meaningfully take on?
  • How are they responding to and experimenting with the social, political and economic challenges of the times?
A group of people are in discussion

Experiments in Practice, photography © Tate 2017 Ana Escobar

The audience listens to a presentation

Experiments in Practice, photography © Tate 2017 Ana Escobar

    Invited speakers included:

    • Miguel Amado, Senior Curator at mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough
    • Marijke Steedman, Independent curator and consultant, London
    • Melanie Keen, Director of Iniva, London
    • Anna Cutler, Director of Learning, Tate, London
    • Aine O’Brein, Co-founder and Director, Counterpoint Arts, London
    • Helen Shearn, Consultant, facilitator and producer in arts, mental health and wellbeing, London
    • Gary Stewart, Independent Artist and Trustee of 198 Gallery, London
    • Ronda Gowland Pryde, Head of Education at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton

    Programme and Summary

    Experiments in Practice: Summary Report [35 KB]

    Information On