Sequestered Collection: The museum as carbon storage

Davide Piscitelli, Nina Yuko Cutler


( Concept )

'Peering at the basalt sculpture speckled with mineralised carbon, it suddenly occurs to you that, like most museums, the works on display are only a small fraction of its collection. Yet here, they are not stored in archive rooms, they are piped underground and embedded into the earth’s geology. This museum does not store human-made artifacts. Instead, the consequences of human making - our carbon emissions.' As Carbon Capture and Storage technology (CCS) begins to gain worldwide attention and funding, now is the pertinent time to have critical engagement. We need new visions to imagine how CCS could work towards (rather than against) social and environmental justice, and as part of (rather than instead of) essential actions to achieve a net-zero future. Through reimagining the museum’s role of storage, we propose a global network of public museums that functions as CCS infrastructure, each using an approach suited to their geography. Alongside this, the museum’s secondary roles will shift in accordance to the evolving challenges for CCS.

In phase 1, the public space of the museum acts as Enzyme, accelerating a cultural shift through information and art. Phase 2 sees the museum as Agora, helping a whole industry shift towards civic participation. Phase 3 is the disappearance of the infrastructure. The museum remains as a geological layer, a testament of human action through geological expression.

Project Team
Davide Piscitelli & Nina Yuko Cutler
Project Name
Sequestered Collection: The museum as carbon storage
Team Location
UK, london
Arts, curatorial and creative practice