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Think Tank III: «Wild» Archives[Bearbeiten]

18.08.2018 PROGR, Bern
Deutsche Version

Denkpool III: I

Guests: Patrick de Rham (Les Urbaines), Michael Hiltbrunner (Zurcher University of the Arts), Sibylle Omlin  BONE Performance Art Festival Bern), Joëlle Valterio (PPP PROGR Performance Platform)

Participants: 36 Persons

The third think tank focused on « wild », self-organized, and artists’ archives, whose lateral thinking creates order structures that point out alternatives to hegemonic archive practices and expand the concept of archive.

Initial questions

  • What stories do non-institutional or « wild » archives tell about performance art ? What is their potential in comparison to the narratives of institutional archives ?
  • What strategies can be devised to preserve « wild » archives or parts of them in the long term ? What activities must be undertaken to this end ?
  • Which organizational structure can be found in « wild » archives ? What can institutional archives learn from this ? But also vice versa: What can « wild » archives learn from institutions for their own preservation practice ?

Michael Hiltbrunner used his experience with the work on Peter Trachsel’s archive (1949 - 2013) to point out the challenges of the abundance of material and the potential of archive finds. The archive as a place of intensive accumulations of knowledge is never a product of chance and coincidence and can rarely be transferred en block. Individual engagement in collecting, researching and re-writing performance art artefacts / documents in « wild » archives enables a kind of counter-historiography. There is a danger that precisely this knowledge will be modified during (later) integration, e.g. into institutional archives.

Sibylle Omlin addressed the quantitative, technical and strategic challenges of the BONE Archive (1998 - 2018). The « wild » character is rooted in the structure that has grown over 20 years and the informal knowledge that is still in part exclusively bound to the (former) BONE agents Valerian Maly, Peter Zumstein, Marina Porobic or Bernhard Huwiler.

The accessibility and knowledge of agents and archives of performance art in Western Switzerland seemed to be even more difficult, which was the subject of an open, moderated discussion with Patrick de Rahm. The difference in the understanding of performance art in the various language regions was addressed, as was the role of state funding and (once again!) the commitment of individuals.

Most recently, Joëlle Valterio presented the programme of the upcoming PPP festival. The artist clearly addressed the flowing transition of roles of performance artists and / or curators as well as reflective cycles as a component of performative practice (e.g. the role of feedback).

All in all, it became clear that the order structures of « wild » archives often emerge in the course of action and are thus part of the artistic, research practice. They invite us to update and rewrite them, whereby the ephemeral character of performance art at the same time promotes its resilience. Even though archiving always remains fragmentary, the multitude of different media and resources adds a sometimes decentralized wealth of knowledge to the dominant perspectives of historiography. This has an activating effect insofar as it supports mutual learning and sharing, which can be reminiscent of grassroots democratic or collectively conceived initiatives and platforms.

Denkpool III: II


Denkpool III: III
Denkpool III: IV
Denkpool III: V