Curious Collectors was a site-specific commission for the Natural History Museum in London, a week-long interactive performance that encouraged families to look at and explore the museum in a different way. In particular we wanted to show the museum to be a living scientific institution full of people discovering, describing and classifying new species all the time.
To do so we created a ramshackle team of scientists who were visiting the museum for a single week, and in that time attempting to discover and classify everything there was to know about the museum – its sights, its sounds, the people and the questions that it contained. Visitors were able to sign up as one of our research assistants, receive a collecting permit and begin helping our scientists to collect data from across the museum, adding it to our collection at one of four ‘Stations’ – each of which was conceived by designers Gary Campbell and Jeannine Inglis-Hall and made in part from materials reclaimed from the museum’s archive.
Conceived by Andy Field
Produced by Beckie Darlington
Designed by Gary Campbell & Jeannine Inglis-Hall
Performed by Nigel Barrett, Vanessa Hammick, Thomas Martin, Christopher Brett Bailey, Greg McLaren, Nick Rutherford, Jasmine Loveys, Aimee Corbett, Lara Hayworth and Andy Field.
Commissioned by Sarah Punshon on behalf of the Natural History Museum
In the space of five days over 6000 individual visitors interacted with the project, adding their drawings, sounds, questions and even their own faces to our collection. An archive of images from the project can be found on the Natural History Museum’s Pinteresque page.