The Museum of Vestigial Desire


Desires change ever so often. Culturally desires can be mapped by tracking and analysing expressions that become public. Desires can also be mapped by doing a quantitative analysis of the media that has been shared and published publicly. The quantitate analysis method often tries to stress its validity over more intuitive analytical methods. But the entire picture is captured only by both of them together.

This shrine is a final resting place for desires that are known and have been cultural forces in the past but not anymore. Desires which are not cultural forces anymore need to be recognised. Even if they are not active anymore as determining factors for cultural phenomenon anymore - they need to understood. They need to be understood in terms of rendering us capable of distancing ourselves from these dormant desires which might still seem very alluring. The allure of dormant desires is a misdirection. Cultural actors might get attracted by them and get motivated to produce and participate in the desire as well but it is futile.

The dormant desire can never find an expression and in the current landscape. Expression does not mean a form that the desire takes will also resonate with a public interest. Each actor who holds a desire and gives it a unique shape. The shape might not be familiar for the public at all. If some context for a regular exposure of these strange shapes does not exist then their strangeness will never reduce. The shapes will never get normalised and will forever feel odd and out of place. Only the forms which get exposed regularly manage to develop an aura of familiarity around them. As a democratic system that offers exposure to each unique type of form in the system is highly improbable, the event of dormant desires finding a public expression is also highly unlikely. Oddness seems to be the norm when it seen and thought about often. As a society we want to control the parameter of exposure and keep it dependent on social standing. We want very few to get a chance of becoming culturally normalised because cultural normalisation has a value attached to it. We do not want this value to be assigned randomly to anyone at all. We do not want culture and its arbitration to become a level-playing field. And going by the narratives of exclusion that exist in the landscape, this fact is plain and clear. If a desire does not have the momentum and impetus to gain common currency through a kind of cultural normalisation, it needs to find a place in our shrine.