Founding Principles

Slought performs its activities according to a series of core institutional, curatorial and educational principles. They developed in 2001 through informal conversation with Slought volunteers and publics, and were codified in 2006 through an intensive workshop and self-assessment process. These principles guide our continued formation.


Learn about the values that emerged from these founding principles.

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We aim to foster a new form of institution, one that imagines culture as a forum for advocacy as well as the exchange of ideas, images, and events.

We aspire to rehabilitate trust in institutions by moving beyond preservation or display, engaging the public in intimate dialogue about topical issues and shared concerns.

We recognize that the organization is immersed in change, absorbing and reflecting characteristics of like and unlike groups and institutions; we are always in formation, responding to the variety of projects we undertake.


We recognize the power of informal infrastructures, partnerships, and economies.

Curating is a self-reflexive and historically-aware discipline, one that can recover earlier models of cultural production in the service of developing new models.

Avant-garde histories and alternative movements and groups inform our sensibility; yet we resist these classifications because they imply an oppositional or counter-cultural status that is easily co-opted.


We cultivate our public through multiple projects and modes of engagement; we consider a public to be local and international, more than temporally and spatially associated strangers.

One can neither disavow nor fully disengage from existing social and cultural systems, or from relations of power, money, and institutionality; we are always implicated.

Our programs are more than their material form; at best, they aspire to be thought-experiments that symbolically enact new forms of reception and participation.