Disobedient Objects

Disobedient Objects is an exhibition about the art and design produced by grassroots social movements. It will show exhibits loaned from activist groups from all over the world, bringing together for the first time many objects rarely before seen in a museum. Here we chart the process of mounting the exhibition with contributions from curators, conservators, technicians and some of the people who are lending their objects. We’ll be telling the in-depth stories behind some of the exhibits and exploring the issues and challenges raised by the exhibition with guest bloggers. We’ll also be introducing a few new disobedient objects beyond the exhibition itself.

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The Vendomme Column pulled down, Paris, May 16 1871.

Art and Activism in the age of the Anthropocene

Disobedient Objects might lead us to reflect on what the future is for art and activism, or what our responsibilities are. In the essay below, artists and activist John Jordan of the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (whose Bike Bloc project is featured in the exhibition) reflects on these questions. The essay was commissioned as part […]

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Inflatable General Assembly DIY Manual - Back Page. Created by Common Practice.

‘Designing for the Common Goals of People': An Interview with Common Practice

Like many of the people occupying Zuccotti Park in 2011, the collective Common Practice contributed to their protest camp by drawing on the skills and training they knew best – architecture & design. The result was the 123Occupy project, whose model of an Inflatable General Assembly can be seen in ‘Disobedient Objects’. In this post […]

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Made Possible by Squatting on Dock St, 2013

Made Possible by Squatting: Myth, memory, mimesis

Amongst the banners in the first room of Disobedient Objects is ‘Kraken Gaat Door’ (Squatting Goes On).  This specific banner was made in the 1980s, forming part of a multi-year direct action campaign in Amsterdam.  However, this fight for affordable housing solutions is a widespread, international, and simultaneously local.  In this post, guest blogger Luther Blissett […]

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Early stages of cutting the rod and shaping it so the dolls sit at the desired angle.

Mounting Disobedient Objects

Sadly, this is my final post on the museum blog for Disobedient Objects…but before I move on to new adventures, I’d like to give you a little glimpse into more of the behind-the-scenes work involved in the run up to Disobedient Objects. I am going to focus a little bit into two very simple mounts I made prior to […]

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How to Guide: Book Bloc Shield. llustration by Marwan Kaabour at Barnbrook

Disobedient Objects How-To Guides

  Disobedient objects are often carefully designed solutions to problems faced by activists on the ground, in the midst of social and political movements around the world. The exhibition includes several take home guides on how-to make some of these objects, from Book Bloc Shields to Tear-Gas Masks.   Additionally, these How-To Guides are now available […]

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Become the Bike Bloc poster, issued during the COP 15 Climate Summit.

The Bike Bloc Sound Swarm

Disobedient Objects includes a sound piece produced by Filastine, playing out of the Bike Bloc included in the show. The sound piece combines and contrasts the sounds made by or accompanying the objects in the exhibition. You can listen to it and download it for free here:     Sound Swarm The original Bike Bloc […]

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Impressive manoeuvring through the first set of doors! (Phil, myself and Holly)

Installing the Tiki Love Truck

One of the highlights of working in the V&A’s Technical Services department is the enormous scope of projects and variety of objects we work with on a daily basis at the museum. Since joining the team in 2012, it’s been a whirlwind of excitement altogether; from couriering incredible Baroque sculptures on loan to the Musée-du-Louvre-Lens […]

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One #DisobedientObjects is the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) scarf above. Museum no. T.20-1946, Image © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

#DisobedientObjects

This exhibition is far from the final word on out-designing authority, and there are so many objects we wish we could have included from struggles past and present. There are many other important object-histories of disobedience still to be told. The ideas and objects in the show were often also made communally, shared and adapted across […]

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Touring the Greenpeace’s workshop. Photograph by Victoria Jessops.

Making Lock-ons with Greenpeace

Vikki Jessop is Lead Technician for ‘Disobedient Objects’, and always ready to fix the many complex problems the exhibition throws at her.  In this post Vikki takes a break from installing our exhibition to discuss how she learned to make lock-ons with Greenpeace.   I think if my mother knew just exactly how much time I’d spent researching how […]

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Photograph by Jérémie Dubé-Lavigne. ©Jérémie Dubé-Lavigne

Spread the Red: solidarity in Quebec

Faced with a significant rise in their university tuition fees, students in Montreal successfully took action by demonstrating their opposition in record numbers for most of 2012.  Dubbed by some as ‘The Maple Spring’, their carefully organized actions led to a tuition freeze on 5 September 2012. This blog post explores their struggle through the […]

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