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“MoRE is a digital museum that collects, preserves and exhibits online refused and unrealised art projects of the 20th and 21st century”

Archives are unique from both library and museums in that they collect and bring together items that provide evidence of an individual’s or organisation’s actions. As these items are selected for permanent – or as close to permanent as possible – preservation because of their significance to the collecting organisation’s goals, these items can be almost anything – from written correspondence to swimming trunks! (No joke, I have previously catalogued swimming trunks) – and are not necessarily going to be a complete pieces of work.

MoRE is a digital museum that collects, preserves and exhibits online refused and unrealised art projects of the 20th and 21st century. Arising out of debates in contemporary art that have been examining themes of memory, storage, use and access to information and objects, MoRE has recognised the unusual area that archives occupy and has capitalised upon this, and on the potential of the web, to gather together evidence of the work behind unfinished art projects within a digital archive. This material is then curated and presented on their website.

Image courtesy of MoRE

Image courtesy of MoRE

In the same way that we at the GSA Archives and Collections try to gather together evidence of both students’ and staffs’ work – including sketch books, travel journals, trial projects, photographs, plans etc. – with the aim of not only preserving these materials, but of providing a source of material that can inform creative practice, MoRE presents a different art canon than the traditional view of the final, finished product.

Image courtesy of MoRE

Image courtesy of MoRE

The brain child of Elisabetta Modena and Marco Scotti the museum gathers materials from artists across the globe, and allows users to browse through these materials through exhibitions, different projects or on a map using geolocation.

Image courtesy of MoRE

Image courtesy of MoRE

For artists this provides an interesting take on the value that their work can have, regardless of whether or not it is fully realised, and highlights how investigating the theoretical and conceptual level of an individual artist’s projects can enrich the experience of their finished works. Do you agree? Have you had experience of using an archive that has helped to inform your work? If so, let us know!

Resources Used

MoRE, an archive of signs and traces of artistic practices: creating a tool for research in contemporary art and curatorial practices. Francesca Zanella, Ilaria Bignotti, Elisabetta Modena & Marco Scotti

MoRE Museum

The Archive, edited by Charles Mereweather