Museo Jallpha Kalchaki and the organisational turn: the museum as catalysts for regenerative practices

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Creative Sustainability
This thesis explores the role of art institutions, specifically museums, in supporting the organisational turn in the arts. Through an ethnographic approach that involved my active participation and immersion in the daily activities of a museum, I have explored how museums can potentially challenge and alter forms of social organising in order to engage in regenerative practices. At the heart of the study is the museum Jallpha Kalchaki (Salta, Argentina) and two events that were organised by this institution during my fieldwork: the exhibition Con amor, las tejedoras de San Carlos and the fair Amblayo Vivo. From the study, four critical elements emerged: the porosity of the organisation, the contribution towards cooperative forms of working, the contextual sensitivity necessary for achieving tailor-made practices, and the role of the aesthetics of belonging in regenerative organisations. These elements offer valuable insights for regenerative organisations and contribute to a deeper understanding of how organisations, and especially art institutions, can engage in regenerative forms of organising. Furthermore, the findings reinforce the discourse on the organisational turn in the arts and provide insights into the role of art institutions in supporting artistic entrepreneurship. The study expands the understanding of the potential of museums beyond being mere content containers, suggesting they can serve as catalysts for systemic, and holistic involvement within their ecosystems. The practices embraced by the museum Jallpha Kalchaki represent systemic interventions aimed at enhancing the ecosystem's capacity to regenerate itself. The thesis concludes with the conceptualisation of a regenerative museum, a museum that is embedded within a specific ecosystem, sensitive to its surroundings which fosters restoration, self-organisation, and evolution within the ecosystem. The insights that emerged from this research offer a framework for implementing regenerative practices in art institutions, challenging the notion of museums as detached entities. This work may inspire further research and practical initiatives to promote regenerative practices in art institutions and beyond.
Thesis advisor
Peixoto, Inês
regenerative, art insitutions, organisational turn, ecosystem
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