Mission and Values

Slought is a non-profit organization on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania that engages publics in dialogue about cultural and socio-political change in Philadelphia, the world, and the cloud. We are a new form of institution that builds relationships and social trust through collaboration and the exchange of ideas.

For over fifteen years, we have worked with artists, communities, and institutions worldwide to develop projects that encourage inclusiveness, advocacy, and the sharing of knowledge. Nine values have emerged in response to our founding principles and projects. These values hold our organization accountable to our history and publics and guide our continued formation. Our projects develop at the intersection of these values, and in turn redefine them.

Our projects are responsive to social issues and concerns. We are committed to engaging publics in dialogue about topical issues and imagining culture as a forum for advocacy.
Our projects enable and perform polycentric conversations. We aim to foster a new form of institution that recognizes culture as the exchange of ideas, images, and events.
Our projects question power, ethics, and institutionality. We recognize that we can neither disavow nor fully disengage from existing social and cultural systems.
Our projects build informal economies and collaborations. We recognize the power of cultural organizations to bridge divided communities.
Our projects resist classification and make alternatives possible. They are conceived as thought-experiments that perform the impossible.
Our projects rethink display to enable new forms of encounter. We reconceptualize presentation to transform experience and reception.
Our projects cultivate publics and new modes of engagement. We consider our community to be more than temporally and spatially associated.
Our projects negotiate local and global borders. We engage our participants and publics across conceptual and spatial boundaries.
Our projects are marked by change, exchange, and self-reflection. We are always aware of our process and responsive to the variety of projects we undertake.