The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict – Cedric Price Archive – Part 1



Lecture date: 2011 03 22

Samantha Hardingham, Markus Miessen, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Armin Linke

Set up as an informal and improvised presentation in which the protagonists react to the images projected, this trialogue will present an alternative propositional reading to the (mis)use of archives.

The applied research project ‘The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict’, based at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe (HfG), is dealing with archival practice and its spatial repercussions. What are the processes involved in making archives productive? Conventional archives tend to define themselves through content-specific, quantitative accumulation of matter, subscribing to an existing, pre-established order. They rarely transform their structures. In contrast to such an accumulative model of archival practice and preservation, the productive archive offers an open framework, which actively transforms itself and therefore allows for the constant production of new and surprising relationships.

Exploring non-traditional archives that are focused not only on the accumulation of material, but also on the setting up of different relationships between parts of that material, this project and inquiry attempts to offer new perspectives on archival practice.

The trialogue will present, among other projects, the Cedric Price research archive, generated from the body of work of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s private interview archive, Armin Linke’s Phenotypes exhibition as an alternative model for accumulating user-generated knowledge, and Markus Miessen’s current research project in Karlsruhe, which will culminate in a publication as well as spatial design and implementation of and for the Merve Verlag archive at the ZKM, Karlsruhe.

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