History of Museum of Care

A History of Museum of Care:


– Museums of Care 01

– Museum of Care02 (Initial Stage: Trial and Error)

– Museum of Care 03 (Projects and Preparation for the Opening)

The initial idea of a Museum of Care was originally one of the ideas that David and Nika had together before his passing.
After his passing, a structure to coordinate the Intergalactic Memorial Carnival for David was created. This included the:

  • Website
  • Video Component
  • Communications

Most of the organizers of the Carnival4David were his personal friends, who knew him and each other, sometimes for many years. About 15 people would frequently meet online, efficiently distributed the work among themselves, and managed to prepare a large-scale, international event in a very short time. The Graz Steirischer Herbs Festival’s facilitation, which paid for a lot of the tech infrastructure, organized a 12-hour uninterrupted broadcast and did many other things to help, was crucial.Decisions among the organizers were made by consensus. There was a common feeling of urgency. We were united by grief, and the desire to do something incredible, open up the space for everyone, turn his death into a celebration of his life. We thought that David might appreciate it. And maybe he did.

Museum of Care-01(Initial Stage: Trial and Error) After the Carnival people, Nika convened people to talk about next steps. Some ideas were generated and working groups were created. She added more people to the Museum of Care group and that is how the committee grew. 
Meanwhile, the Core Group was created from the tech team (Andre and TJ, who were in the project even before Carnival) and Extinction Rebellion group, who were friends of David and Nika, who helped (a lot!) to organise London’s part of Carnival4David.Four new people were added at the last two sessions of the Core group and took part in the Friday Assemblies. The Core group grew up up to 10 people. The task of the Core group was:

  • build a new website
  • do media outreach
  • do fundraising
  • create workgroups
  • coordinate the Friday Assemblies
  • eventually have paid staff

In essence, Nika was trying to repeat the same practice that existed during Carnival4David: gather a group of people interested in developing the project and make decisions and solve problems together. However, there were two radical differences between the Carnival and Museum core groups: 1) Temporality:  — The Carnival group was united around a specific and final project. As soon as the project was successfully completed, the group dissolved itself.  David often said that assemblies gathered to solve specific problems: to stage protests, demonstrations, revolutions, and/or carnivals. 
— the Museum of Care group appointed itself as the governing body of a future institution that should potentially exist forever. 
2) The Carnival group was already familiar with each other. The Museum of Care’s current members are a new community, the vast majority of whom appeared after the Carnival group dissolved itself, so they may come together for the new event. 
As a result of these differences, the two groups behaved differently. Carnival people would not have even thought to forbid something to someone! First, there was no time for it, and secondly, why? If someone made a stupid or unfortunate Carnival, we simply wouldn’t pay any attention to it! There were 250 carnivals all over the world—more than were possible to check out.
However, several people proposed that in the Museum of Care ideas, achievements, and projects should be collectively controlled instead of being put out in the open for everyone to use.  This lead to:    – The thought that people could allow or prohibit others from doing things.    – Everyone must agree with everyone else; otherwise, it is not fair to move on.    – It is likely that the people who have more time to sit in Zoom and talk endlessly will be the ones who ban and make the decisions.
Another distinction between Carnival and the Museum is that while the Carnival members were focused on specifics for a common cause. In contrast, the members of the Museum were detached from solving concrete problems. 
The site of the new MoC was never made, and the current version (as of January 29, 2021) is still a work in progress. All the work was done by a small affinity group of people who knew each other well. Only a few people contributed in any case.
David’s childhood home of Fire Island was going to be the first Museum of Care and early on 8-10 physical spaces were added to the list of residencies.
Initially, there were separate spaces: “off-line” residences and “online projects”, Nika suggested combining the concepts of “rooms” and “residences”, there were initial objections, but later the Group reached a consensus. The rules for off-line residency: everyone is responsible for his/her own space and joins common projects when he/she considers it necessary, were extended to on-line projects. The Museum began to form as a combination of offline and online spaces. 
The Museum of Care developed a Mission Statement and then translated it into 20+ languages in a few days. The work of sending the translations out, posting them on the website and all the maintenance was done by three people: Nika, Andre, TJ. Translators did the translations, and they keep coming to this day. 

Decisions/Group Process Group v0.1 (Before) Clare Farrell, had been facilitating the Friday Assemblies and wanted to choose a way to make a simple decision in the assembly such as when the next meeting is, but without resorting to voting. A couple people said they were interested in discussing alternative modes of decision-making and a very poorly named “Decisions” email chain was started between 8 of them to talk about how to define a decision-making process and how to faciltiate the assemblies. They all did research and compiled their notes in a document about decision-making, facilitation, and other related processes (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WmYem_1OOu8BAhW1TKHqjGGBW-I6yrEMb9ToOtH-nZk/edit). Then they did a training roleplay and offered to serve as the rotating facilitators for some of the Assemblies.
Nika and Anca are also coordinating a documentary on how people make decisions including interviews with original Group Process Group (Decisions) people, Clare’s XR presentation, and several others.

Museum of Care v0.2 (Recent) Along the way people in Core Group realized that they didn’t want a “Core Group” and there doesn’t need to be any central fundraising or paid central staff. Different projects can fundraise for themselves and pay themselves as they see fit. They are responsible for their own fundraising. 
Nika and friends made the current version of the Museum of Care. She released it under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License | Museum Of Care 2021 | license. So there can be many Museums of Care that people can organize on their own. The only requirements are to name the original authors of the idea and indicate where and what the new version has changed. 
People who do projects make decisions about their own projects. As we move forward, we will change and rearrange our social structure. As we all agreed: “the social movements that don’t change will die”.
Nika will continue to coordinate the Friday Assemblies and Reading Group. As Nika said in a List Serv email: 

  • Organizing reading groups and assembly meetupscan hopefully be the limit of the central organizing, and once we have projects which are in work, individuals or groups can come to the Friday meetings and share ideas, show work, network with each other to find collaborators, etc.

We have a Mission Statement and subsequent Values List ( https://pad.riseup.net/p/moc-values-list-keep ) to help guide us along the way, and help us understand any Minimum Viable Rules that we may need to develop as we go.

Museums of Care v0.3 (Where we are going?) Questions remain about how we connect to all the projects and how we document all the projects so that all involved and uninvolved people can learn about all that is happening. That’s ok. People can experiment as we go.[Maybe we can link to the ongoing MoC archive here?]
The question of how to link projects without a unified system of command, without financial and legal control, remains unanswered. And can we do it? We have no answer to this question. Initially, we declared that our Museum, not a corporation, has to win, and it is not an Empire, which has to grow and absorb neighboring projects and initiatives. Our Museum is an experiment in staying free. 
Rooms Group is continuing to search for physical spaces.
There will be no central official map of the Museum of Care but there may be many partial maps that show different ways to represent the activities and navigated them differently. Our museum has a complicated and dynamic structure that is difficult to map because our museum has no walls. It is formed with specific people and projects and is constantly changing. It’s center becomes it’s periphery. It grows and shrinks in different places.  

Current Projects:– The Collective DocumentaryThe Fighting Room Visual Assembly (with/for Zapatistas) – The Library (text) – The Music Room – The Free Access Room- The Anti-Bureaucracy Room in the Museum of Care (artworks, contains forms, recommendations, Certificates of Appreciation, letters of recommendation and so on). Maybe a bureaucratic fashion collection – The room of the Heroes – The Hologram Room (work-in-progress)- The (Anti) Evil Eye Room