Repositorium, Thomas Buckley

Precious and treasured stories were collected from people, community groups and archives in Lincoln and teased into wardrobes and everyday items for a multi-sensory installation, Repositorium.

“I believe public opinions around technology and humanity are too dichotomous: Technologies are developing rapidly to respond to our physicality and personal information. Seeing ourselves as lacking control over this, or as being intrinsically separate from technology will, I believe, lead to an immoral and anti-human digital culture.” – Thomas Buckley

An assembly of archival objects, a wardrobe, a dresser and a bureau, hold memories borrowed from the people of Lincoln. Through a playful use of embedded technology and sensory design, Repositorium brings technology and humanity together in an accessible installation exploring universal themes.

Watch this film about Repositorium, where artist and storyteller Thomas Buckley talks about how he engaged with local communities and archival objects to retell stories of the city through the multi-sensory installation.

Digital Democracies first artist in residence Thomas Buckley presented his brand new commissioned work, Repositorium at Frequency Festival 2021, as part of the Cornhill High Streets Heritage Action Zone Cultural Programme.

At St. Mary le Wigford Church visitors could explore the everyday objects that offered up some extraordinary stories. As they interacted, each revealed memories hidden inside.

Through a playful use of scent and immersive technology, light artist and storyteller Thomas Buckley inspired a feeling of connection.

Visitors to Repositorium at Frequency Festival 2021 said:

“A wardrobe appeared in the town – it smelt like warm popcorn and when I opened it there was a miniature cinema inside- it was playing an old film. I think the memory inside was from the man who used to play in the band of the cinema”

“In the base of the wardrobe a tree had started to grow out of an old carpet- when I touched the tree the whole wardrobe became a musical instrument I could play. It sounded like an old organ.”

“I picked up some of the objects on the dresser – when I did, they started talking and I heard the voices of the objects owners”

About the Artist

Thomas Buckley is an artist and storyteller using digital media, and an alumni fellow of The Royal Shakespeare Company. Often working in projection, immersive technologies (VR, AR, XR), and interactive installations, Thomas makes work exploring the potential of mixed reality and emergent technologies in drawing out our humanity.

Thomas uses both digital and sensory mediums to propose new ways we can archive and share our social histories – exploring new ways heritage can engage with new media.

About the Commission

This commission has been supported by funding from the High Streets Heritage Action Zones Cultural Programme.

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones is a £95 million government-funded programme led by Historic England, designed to secure lasting improvements and help breathe new life into our historic high streets for the communities and businesses that use them. Historic England is working with local people and partners to unlock the rich heritage on these high streets, through repair and improvement works as well as arts and cultural programmes, making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.

logo reads HM Government   Historic England logo  Arts Council England logoHeritage fund logo

Digital Democracies