Blind Ditch

Museum of Contemporary Commodities

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A ‘pop-up’ installation & online collection that curates the things we buy today as the heritage of tomorrow.

A Public Realm, Interdisciplinary, Participatory and Curation project.

London, Exeter & online
Find more videos, sounds and writing from Museum of Contemporary Commodities
MoCC shop-gallery in Exeter. Photography by Benjamin J Borley

Delightfully glitchy. Easy to get involved with. Innovative and informative.

MoCC Visitor

With retail driving the development of real-time big data processes, how and what we trade, exchange and consume and where we do it, is affecting both the worlds we live in, and those we dream of making – in ways that seem increasingly far beyond our knowledge or control.

The Museum of Contemporary Commodities (MoCC) is neither a building nor a permanent collection of stuff – it’s an invitation. To consider every shop, online store and warehouse full of stuff as if it were a museum, and all the things in it part of our collective future heritage. What do we mean by things or stuff? Everything that you can buy in today’s society. The full range of contemporary commodities available to consume.

I was surprised to find such a clearly relevant arts project. Taking part was enjoyable, the challenge was to come up with a contribution!

MoCC Visitor

Prototyping project activities at the MoCC Free Market, Furtherfield Gallery. Photos by Andrew Brand

…playful in a creative way whilst surfacing the vastness of the combined issues.

MoCC Visitor

Presented as a series of lively and challenging digital activities in physically located and online spaces, MoCC creates conversations between people and things that encourage deeper investigation of the deep links between data, trade, place and values that shape our everyday lives. The project has been presented as a Thinkering Day, a Free Market event, an exhibition piece, a shop-gallery & micro festival, and as a museum in its own right on Exhibition Road, London.

MoCC Guide Mikayla the interactive doll on her throne of commodities

The MoCC project had a really light touch, light ways of intervening in everyday spaces. There was a socially anarchic feel that prompted people to step outside daily life routines and ‘normality’ – which is a state you need to be in to consider complicated issues.

Matt Burrows, Visual Arts Curator Exeter Phoenix

It’s certainly an activist project, because it’s a direct critique of neoliberal use of data and people’s personal information not in their best interests, or in the best interests of people on the other side of the world… I think it’s a really impressibe move from physical testing, paper testing, user testing into a digital space… and it’s really quite extraordinary I think.

Ruth Catlow, Co-Founder Furtherfield

MoCC is an art-social science collaboration between Paula Crutchlow from Blind Ditch and Ian Cook from and University of Exeter. The project was developed in partnership with Furtherfield and a growing number of artists, academics, technologists and members of the public.

With many thanks to MoCC collaborators: Artist & Producer Alison Ballard, Furtherfield co-founder Ruth Catlow, Creative Technologists Gareth Foote & Chris Hunt, Project Assistant and ethnographer Chiara Garbellotto, Designer Olga Massanet, Associate Professor in Media and Communications LSE Alison Powell, Community Artist Kerrie Seymour and Sound Designer Emmanuel Spinelli. With further assistance from MoCC Free Market Workshop leaders: Carlos Armendariz, Amelia Suchcicka and volunteers, MoCC Invigilators:  Charlie Coldfield, Jake Elwes, Joe Hancock, Becky Rich, Alexander Warn, MoCC Commodity Consultants: Alice Goodbrook, Jennifer Hart, Elizabeth Hobson, Gabrielle King, Daisy Livingstone.

Made in partnership with Furtherfield. With further support from All Change Arts, MA Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins, University of Westminster and Queen Mary University of London. MoCC in Exeter was run in partnership with Exeter Phoenix, Exeter Library and FabLab Devon with support from Art Week Exeter, Exeter CVS, Exeter City Council, Exeter Scrapstore, Exeter University Arts and Culture, Spacex, St Sidwells Centre. MoCC at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) was supported by the RGS-IBG and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Funded by Arts Council England, Islington Council, University of Exeter, Economic and Social Research Council and Exeter City Council.