Definition of midden


2a: a refuse heap : KITCHEN MIDDEN, Shell Midden (archaeological)

2b: a small pile (as of seeds, bones, or leaves) gathered by a rodent (such as a pack rat)

Middens are indicative of accumulation, consumption and disposal. They grow unnoticed and slowly become part of the landscape, piling and collapsing, altering and camouflaging until they are no longer discernible unless excavated. Although considered by their makers as piles of rubbish, so much non-documentary information can be extracted from these middens, but equally much is also open to interpretation and misinterpretation, constantly shifting between meaning and suggestion. 

MIDDEN collective are Sarah Edmondson, Mary Martin and Niamh McGuinne. Collaborations so far have focussed on the interpretation of evidence; of decidedly unscientific work made in response to lunar and lunisolar calendars; a critique of geo/human-centric time, measurements, and purported experiences;  a pseudoscientific exploration into humans’ interactions with the moon and an appraisal of lunar myths and missions, combining fact with fiction to create new narratives.

And we don’t have to look too far…everywhere around us are potential-middens, middens-in-disguise, partial-middens, middens-in-hiding, proto-middens, middens-in-waiting, pseudo-middens, pop-up-middens, and we along with the pack rats are the authors of their creation.

Image credits: Kate Bowe O’Brien