Projects: New Forms: Archive, Document, Policy

Projects: Archive, Document, Policy


(New Forms: Connor and Sholette: 2014)

Preliminary Presentation based either on materials presented so far, on individual interest or both due Oct. 20

Present sketches, research, etc. for an assignment chosen from the following that are related to Weeks 1-6:

Imaginary Archive:

Make sketches for your own contribution to Imaginary Archive or propose an imaginary entry foran existing archive you are interested in researching.

The Art of Memory:

What does the art of memory look like in 2014? What kinds of things do you need to remember? What aids do you use? Make sketches of a chart that shows your memory aids and how they work, e.g. what limits do they have, what values do they represent, etc.?

Design a system of memory aides that improve on your current system using your research into other archival forms. You can use quotes, images, video clips, etc., that you feel represent your experiences.

Describe your own archival systems

What do you save, what do you throw out, what to you keep in a maybe pile?—how do you store things—your work, bills, correspondence, things of value, etc.? Do you have particular archives/collections of your own, e.g. photographs, music? What systems do you use to organize it?

Taking cues from other archives you research, imagine how you might refine your system(s).


Final project, building on preliminary mid term presentations, drawing from presentations since then or …..??

Embedded practice, abolition of artistic autonomy and/or public policy

What can art do? Does art have a social function? Should it? Can artists contribute more directly to solving social problems?

Some ideas for projects:

Create an archive of case studies for or against one or more of these questions.

Create an archive of changes you think need to be made

Continuing from presentations made at mid term:

Produce a complete project for IA or an imaginary entry for an existing archive you are interested in researching.

Create your own vision of the Art of Memory for 2014: This could include models of 3D spaces, all kinds of mixed media, video mash ups, etc.

Expose your archive

In the days before digital archives newspaper publishers used to have ‘analog’ files of images they could use for reference or reproduction they referred to as the ‘morgue’. The name probably came from a file for portraits (first illustrations and then photos) that had been used to illustrate obituaries but overtime they included all kinds of images that might be needed to illustrate stories. Often they were organized very idiosyncratically based on their own needs.

What’s in your personal morgue? What kind of materials do you keep on hand as research, inspiration and sources for your work? Do you keep a lot of  resources just in case or do you pare down and ‘deaccession’ frequently? What systems do you use to organize them?

After your experience with exploring other archives how might you envision making your morgue/ archive accessible to others? You have your private associations, projections and memories in relation to your archives. What if presenting your archives in a way that allows others to discover their own relationships to your materials, making it less of a morgue and more of a window, would enable you to find out more about your creative process?

Imagined Communities in Crisis

“Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity/genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined.” Benadict Anderson

Choosing a canonical visual art work * from the early 20th Century avant-garde (roughly from 1900-1929: Italian, Russian, or French Futurism, Constructivism, Dada, or Surrealism) imagine the kind of social interactions that would be generated by the logic of the piece.

For example a photomontage by Hanna Hoch might suggest a community in which people would carry large cut outs of words or images that would be used to communicate, negotiate differences, even legislate communal rules. Perhaps those with more exciting images would dominate, or those who dominate would be overthrown by a collectively wave of oversized utensils.

Once you have “imagined” your community it is time to introduce a crisis of some sort. Shortages of images to make portable communication and policy posters out of for example in the Hannah Hoch community. What solutions follow from this crisis?

Narrating for the class the credibility of your imagined community and its rules as well as the logical response made to an unexpected public challenge becomes your challenge in this assignment.

* perhaps a novel or opera or piece of music or poetry could be used in place of visual art work?

Other ideas:

Recovered Memories: Choose a historical incident that is not tremendously known or represented and find a way to imaginatively reenact or recreate this event. (Perhaps it could also be a moment out of the student’s own past?) By re-narrating you will inevitably introduce some degree of subjectivity and even anachronisms into the telling. For as much as you bring the overlooked “back to life” you also reveal the way history is interpreted by the interests and concerns of the present day.

Recovered Memories Part II:

Now reinterpret the same event using a very different artistic approach as well as a fresh point of view.


Possible techniques and formal references to consider for Recovered Memories Parts I & II:



Audio Piece or Song

Video Game or Board Game

Animation or Graphic Novel

“History Painting”

Tableau Vivant

John Dos Passos: The 42nd Parallel

Martha Rosler: The Strange Case of Baby “M”

Live Action Role Play (LARP):


History Will Repeat Itself: Strategies of Re-enactment in Contemporary (Media) Art and Performance by Ike Arns:

Once More…With Feeling: Reenactment in Contemporary Art…

Life Once More: Forms of Reenactment in Contemporary Art, Jennifer Allen and Peggy Phelan 2005

OR Design your own project in consultation with Greg/Maureen