aspect-ratio 10x9 The Witness-Machine Complex, installation view, Sfeir-Semler Gallery Hamburg, 2022.

The Witness-Machine Complex, installation view, Sfeir-Semler Gallery Hamburg, 2022. (© Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery.)

The ORC is pleased to announce the concept of the upcoming symposium conceived for the 30-year anniversary of HfG. Entitled “Shaking the Archive: towards future methodologies”, the one-day series of talks will take place at HfG on 3 December 2022.

‘Marginal/Lateral’ or non-institutional, self-initiated, informal and small private archives are cropping up across the globe to address gaps and offer a voice to marginalized bodies and realities. These are often not archives in the strict sense of the word, but come in the form of indexes or creative projects that reframe materials and data. Both in parallel and in conjunction, an unprecedented number of research based creative practices, which use appropriation and re-framing (by drawing from the archive or building it) as the basis for their work, and to make sense of a rapidly changing mediatic reality, have also emerged. The added context of the internet and the birth of new media have created the urgency to create a new language and method of archiving, as well for an ethical debate, across different disciplines, around what it really means to share (and often commodify) archival materials. The above fields of enquiry: subaltern archives, research based artistic practices and the emergence of new media are all shaking the archive—both in terms of content and container—in different ways. In order to re-shape our ways of keeping a dynamic record, of sorting and storing data, of preserving all voices, we cannot ignore small scale archival initiatives and attempts.

The theme of HfG’s 30-year anniversary is “the future of” and a future cannot be consciously built without facing a new set of questions around archiving present and past. In order to upend our learned assumptions about reality, about Western forms of knowledge, classification and value; in order to keep a record of the recent past and its material and immaterial transformations; in order to address the multiple, yet interconnected urgencies of the present, we need both the archive and the question, and neither of these ingredients can ever be static. Rather than adopting a notion of progress in relation to the future in general and the future of archiving more specifically, we would like to explore the idea of the future within the framework of potential.

Guests include Sidar Bayram / Material Aesthetics Research Collective, Sara Callahan, Özge Çelikaslan / bak.ma, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Tanja Markovic / Women in Black, Martina Muzi, Moritz Nebenführ, Mindy Seu / Cyberfeminism Index, Angelika Stepken / Broken Archive, Mohanad Yaqubi / Subversive Film.

The detailed schedule with additional information on the guest speakers and their presentations can be found here.

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