April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Demonstrations: Description

Mischief & Malice: Crime in the Museum

Jessica Koepfler, Institute for Learning Innovation, Canada
Nick Gamble, University of Toronto, Canada

The graduating class of the Museum Studies program in the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto is launching a virtual exhibition entitled Mischief & Malice: Crime in the Museum on April 2, 2008. The exhibition discusses current and intriguing ideas based on chosen case studies involving acts of theft, vandalism, and forgery within museums and cultural heritage institutions. Situated under the rubric of authority, ownership, and law, the ambiguities of these crimes inspire critical and compelling debate. For instance,

  • To what extent are issues related to the repatriation of museum collections considered forms of theft?
  • Is defacement or alteration of cultural property in the name of art, religion, or politics always an act of vandalism?
  • Is appropriation art in fact forgery?

As the museum begins to engage in postmodern practice, these issues are increasingly relevant – especially considering the growing challenges in defining who owns material culture and who has the right to interpret it.

In order for 18 students to develop a high-quality virtual exhibition of this kind, the Mischief & Malice team used a wiki as the project management tool for communication, content management, and collaboration. In this demonstration the project managers will showcase both the process and the final product of this year-long endeavor.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 1 [Demonstrations]