Speech and What Archive?
A Constructed World (ACW) Paris based research project
This ACW research project will take place between Paris (FRA), Linköping (SWE), Melbourne (AUS), New York and San Francisco (USA).
Speech and What Archive? brings together experienced and emerging artists, curators, and art historians to make research and art works around what can be said and saved from a disorganised and confused present.
Participants will have access to institutional archives such as the CNEAI, Chatou, DOCVA, Milan, CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. While these archives are useful to understand diverse representations of history, what-we-can-say, what-is-saved and on-behalf-of-who is perhaps more the issue for artists, curators and contemporary art historians now. Personal, impulsive and idiosyncratic archives have the potential to make something unacknowledged become visible, to bring what is said and valued in private into the public. We might also consider the internet, the vector of all possible archives, as a link between the institutional and collective histories and as a site for research and dissemination.
Outcomes from this project will include a workshop, exhibitions, events and publications. The weblog Speech, an existing site for contemporary art discourse, will host video interviews and commentary. Speech has been directed mainly towards making an account of what wouldn’t normally be reported in the popular media or art press yet is often heard in conversations outside of exhibitions, in cafes and lounge rooms. For this project Speech will move between contemporary art and speech in the wider sense of what is allowed and what cannot be said — or, as 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes calls it, ‘flow and constraint’. The processes of this project; art works, ideas, texts and material generated from the workshop and events will be collected into a print publication produced by a number of the participants.
The project will develop in a non-linear way with the opportunity to work collaboratively, in clusters, or individually using different research methodologies across geographies that can image different audiences and publics. Using the internet, video, speech, writing and openness to any media we look to move between the space of the expert and the institution and private longings and desires that may help us form a better picture and account of what we collectively want.
SPEECH web magazine, founded by A Constructed World in 2005, includes reviews and commentary by experts and non-experts. See the following posts, and in particular reader’s comments, for the kinds of discussion often discouraged in the contemporary art press.
Kain Picken and Pat Foster
Short ride in a fast machine