Julian Walker parallax observer UK
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Things to do at the British Museum

A Plan To Perform an Act of Cultural Resolution

In Room 64 of the British Museum (Egyptian Antiquities) there are two cases holding human remains, specimen EA 52387, a mid first Dynasty burial from Tarkhan, c. 2950 BC, and specimen EA 32757, a late pre-Dynastic burial from Naqada II, c. 3400 BC, affectionately known as "Ginger". The following plan is intended to see what happens when these identities are put in contact with each other, countering the ennui of decades of being stared at after being dug up and removed from their intended eternal resting places.

Required are three individuals holding hands, with the outer two pressing their hands against the glass of the case nearest to them, plus documentation team, plus a diversion team of two people to ask nearby guards the directions to rooms pointing away from the activity, together with a contingency individual to draw other visitors away. The act will need to be performed at a quiet time of the day, late in the afternoon in January or November (not Sundays), or early in the morning in April, which tend to be the quietest times in the museum.

Will there be a tingle of contact, of the sort that Tom Keating felt? How will the moment be culturally informed - if it were done in a thunderstorm, would the charged atmosphere make the contact stronger? How does it relate to our cultural fear of mummies rising from the dead?

Is such an act symbolic, virtual, or actual? How would the guards react?

Things to do at the British Museum - Essay
Things to do at the British Museum - Room 50 and Room 49