Institute of Archaeology


Exhibiting the Misanthropocene as Method

15 June 2022, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm

Exhibiting the Misanthropocene as Method

The Archaeology-Heritage-Art Research Network public programme will continue on 15 June with a presentation by Dean Sully.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Nastassja Simensky

Public Programme #4 : Dean Sully

The exhibition ‘Objects of the Misanthropocene: A Time-Travelling Exhibition from the Illegal Museum of Beyond’ features objects that have travelled back to us from different future worlds/alternative universes. The exhibition was developed as an online exhibition in August 2020, as a temporary display at UCL Slade School of Fine Art & Institute of Archaeology in January 2022, and will be installed as a temporary exhibition in the UCL Octagon Gallery in September 2022.

The exhibition aims to highlight the (un)certainty of authorising knowledge production involved in the fabrication of heritage stories of the past and the future. Several methods of experimental playfulness have been employed to disrupt the complex choreography of truth production, long enough to reimagine the reality of newly proposed worlds, to explore new ways to reveal implausible but real nows, and to realise preferable futures. Some examples of the Misanthropocene method will be discussed and you will all be invited to participate in a series of informal online workshops that will be arranged during the summer. These will aim to develop ideas about future/other worlds, and to fabricate additional exhibits for the exhibition.

Dean Sully is Associate Professor in Conservation at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, where he coordinates the MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums. He is a coordinator of the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies' Curating the City Research Cluster, National Trust’s Conservation Advisor for Archaeological Artefacts, and Emeritus Scientist in Residence at the Slade School of Art. He studied conservation and gained his PhD at UCL and has worked as a conservation practitioner for the National Heritage Board (Singapore), The Museum of London, The British Museum, and Monmouthshire District Council Museum's Service.

His current research seeks to re-situate heritage practice, from maintaining the metastable authenticity of heritage places and objects towards co-curating ecosociologically-constituted multispecies worlds. It looks to move beyond concepts that continue to privilege human agencies that sustain inequalities, towards a pluriversity of affective ecosociological potentialities of (post)human and nonhuman agents. This is addressed via transarticulating sympoietic framing that brings creative practice and heritage processes into flux through experimental science-art worldings. Heritage practice becomes the uncertain act of making common cause to repair damaged worlds by making more equitable, more-liveable, more-than-human worlds.

The event is open to all but please register via the link above.

Archaeology-Heritage-Art research network logo

The Archaeology-Heritage-Art Research Network examines the varied ways in which archaeology, heritage and art converge across a broad range of concepts and practices, from artistic interventions in the museum space to archaeological interpretations which deploy and take inspiration from contemporary art.

The AHA 2022 PROGRAMME: INTERDISCIPLINARY METHODOLOGIES is supported with a grant from the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies.