Monday, November 30, 2009

Poster Project

The next event of SWA will be sur la Maison Flottante/on the Floating House
Cneai Chatou Sunday 13 December 15h – 18h

Speech and What Archive present a moving, impulsive conversation by twenty-one people looking to find ways to say-what-we-want individually and in a group. What can be said? What will get kept?

a brownie, coffee and cakes, make some cakes, excited, prosecco, dancing is possible

it should have been me, BADLY ARCHIVED, temporary archives, unintended event, lost archive, No archive, burning all, we keep all, Compulsive hoarding, misunderstanding as a form of communication, from Gutenberg til now, hot pyjamas for winter, blackout, structural uncertainty, living archives, incomprehensible democracy, finding my female voice, Ö╖f ╨D}┐ ╜¼ .î ⌡Θ╗╒ 3╪/ε]Z!░|3ß)░√0é(A▓5₧^GT]é)╔YOÆ πÉâÖπ1╩ ▐V°Bv9p|╓┌ ─U=63YNT e£ ( WΓ”3╜0Ü ╝ Rq$+ :àαä2╞ü ΦO”1Pμ Æîë ╘!k º╖ù^╪┘╡ B: ─ 5 Ü ß Ω ╚ ∙ è ½ â 6 ü t ⌠ É l c ╜ 8 ª T ” ? ╕ A Ö¿B}>>╥PZÆòÄm NmU░^█é#«“▒ê█φ^¥╫┬ ▒╟, , To what extent can we trust history upon which our identities are based, Both adverse selection and moral hazards are key factors in designing efficient mechanisms to mitigate climate change, Billie Jean King, manipulated images, elvis greatest, image over text, green circle, be wary of the image, imperative for withdrawal, another person who was thinking about me, black disk folded, if it weren't for the prison we'd know we were in the prison, withdrawal, battery as a gift, suspended space, restriction and flow, take your place take your space, I have been told that it was not all about saving, what can be yet to come in a world that is absolutely full, the internet is like a disorganized archive, if everything were accessible the world would be an archive.

Posters by Speech and What Archive (ACW, Liv Barrett, Etienne Bernard, James Deutsher, Christelle Foucoulanche, Marie Gautier, Anna Hess, Marie Husson, Clémence de Montgolfier, Sébastien Pluot, Pelin Uran) and invited artists Amy Balkan, Malak Helmy, Lynne McCabe and Ruth Robbins, Allison Rowe, Ted Purves, Nancy Nowacek, Ann Schnake, Alex Wang, Fred Alvarado

Thursday, October 29, 2009

San Francisco Conversation

Speech and What Archive will be meeting in San Francisco for two weeks between 18 November and 1 December.
Events include:
Living Archives vernisage, Swell Gallery Graduate Centre SFAI, 19 November
SWA apartment meeting and dinner, cnr 15th St & De Haro, 20 November
SWA Workshop, California College of Art (CCA) Social Practice, 23 November
Living Archives Symposium, San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), 24 November
SWA Bar meeting, Pacific Heights, 24 November
SWA and Living Archives dinner, Bryant between 6th & 5th, 27 November
SWA Conversation, CCA Social Practice, 30 November
(Living Archives is a project of Sébastien Pluto and includes SWA's Clémence de Montgolfier)

Become a memeber of Speech and What Archive group on Facebook.

Paris conversation

The next meeting of Speech and What Archive will be in Paris on Saturday 14 November, beginning at 3pm.
The adress is 21, rue de la Villette 75019
Metro: Jourdain (11), Pyrénées (11)
The front door code is: 4638
The office is on ground floor in front of the entrance (after the 3rd courtyard).
Name on the door: ADCEP/E3C

This meeting will involve:
a conversation
poster project update
individual and collaborative project update
eating and drinking

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


'the workshop seems to have shifted the way i look at objects and documents, i'm thinking about this in terms of what has neccessitated the production or existence of all these things...'

'The easygoing yet rigorous two days made me reflect on the things that I wished to articulate as opposed to the things that are expected of me by other people...'

'The workshop helped me to develop and to understand a bit more some questions. We have talked about exhaustion, the decrease of information, constraining energy, the feeling of saturation, the absence and refusal. These issues are very important to me...'

The Participants

The Speech and What Archive? brings together a group of people from different backgrounds and levels of experience including professional, young and emerging art historians, curators and artists. They are A Constructed World: Geoff Lowe + Jacqueline Riva, Liv Barrett. Etienne Bernard, Benoît Bourreau, James Deutsher, Christelle Faucoulanche, Marie Gautier, Anna Hess, Marie Husson, Clémence De Montgolfier, Sébastien Pluot, Jean-François Robardet and Pelin Uran.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Paris workshop

The first workshop for Speech and What Archive? will be held aboard la maison flottante, Centre de l'estampe et de l'art imprimé, Chatou (Cneai). La maison flottante, a floating studio designed by the Bouroullec brothers, is situated on the river Seine next to the Cneai art centre, and is their floating residency atelier.

This three-day intensive workshop is for participants of the Speech and What Archive? research project exclusively. It will create an opportunity for the group to meet, eat together, to generate knowledge from within the group and identify objectives for collaborative and individual projects.

A Constructed World will design and facilitate the workshop, art historian and curator Sébastien Pluot will run the conversation 'Theoretical Heresay' and each member of the group will speak about interests related to speech and archive.

Dates and schedule:
Monday 21 September
13h lunch, 14h-18h afternoon session
Tuesday 22 September
11h-13h30 morning session, lunch, 14h30-18h afternoon session
Wednesday 23 September
13h lunch, 14h-18h afternoon session, 18h aperitivo, 20h dinner

Locations and directions:
Maison Levanneur, île des impressionnistes
78400 Chatou
RER A Rueil Malmaison
for further information contact

Monday, September 14, 2009

Reader's Archive Projects

Anecdote Archive
The Anecdote Archive is a compilation of short video recordings of word-of-mouth as an alternative to traditional documentation of ephemeral art projects and practices. Focusing on performances, situations, personal encounters, actions and other temporary events, the archive aims to register memorable experiences and their echoes. Anecdote Archive is recorded and organized by Joseph del Pesco

Living Archives
L’École des Beaux Arts d’Angers propose un programme de recherche théorique, d’expérimentation pratique, d’exposition, de performance et de publication : Living Archives. Son objectif est d’approfondir les connaissances sur les enjeux théoriques et les usages du document et de l’archive dans l’art contemporain, la musique, la danse et le cinéma. Programme réalisé par Bernard Calet, Gildas Guihaire, Sébastien Pluot et Raphael Zarka

Future Archive

Curating Degree Zero
Curating Degree Zero was launched to research, present and discuss changes in the practice of freelance curators, artist-curators, new-media curators and curatorial collaborations. Beginning in 1998 with a three-day symposium and an ensuing publication, the project now focuses on an expanding archive about these practices, which is touring as an exhibition, accompanied by a programme of live events and discussions

Archive Contracts
Ben Kinmont wrote these two contracts to preserve the purpose of the project archives. Not easily described by any one object, the projects often begin with an idea or question but include notes; sketches; research; sometimes contact with a curator; sometimes a publication; usually the involvement of strangers....

Chris Kraus with Martin Rumsby

This link will take you to SPEECH web magazine and the interview with Chris Kraus. One part of the interview has been selected for your viewing, if you want to watch the entire interview select the other YouTube links. Go to

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reader's Reader

*Log in to access texts

Michele Foucault, 'The Order of Things', Routledge London, 2002 edition
*See in particular the Preface and Part 1, Chapter 5, Classifying

Hal Foster, 'An Archival Impulse', October 110, Fall 2004, pp. 3-22

Hal Foster, 'Archives of Modern Art, October 99, Winter 2002, pp. 81-95

Hal Foster, 'The Archive Without Museums', October 77, Summer 1996, pp. 97-119

Charles Merewether, ed, 'The Archive', Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006

Pierre Nora, 'Between Memory and History Les Lieux de Memorie', Representations, No26 Spring 1989

'To be liberated is to pierce the future with a destructive gaze that vanquishes omens and exposes the future as nothing but an illusion. What can be yet to come in a world that is absolutely full, where everything that has ever been still is, and where everything that will ever be, is already here? Let the fire of love devour the future and past and deliver me into the jaws of a perpetual present.'
Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, paraphrased in David Rattray's 'How I Became One of the Invisible', Semiotexte, 1992

Ana Balona de Oliveira, 'The Paradox of an Archive: The Anarchival-Archival Art of Thomas Hirschhorn '

Freud, 'A Note Upon The Mystic Writing Pad', 1925
For Freud, all means of mechanically supplementing the memory suffered from one of two drawbacks. Permanent means of recording, like paper, can only be written on once--they quickly become filled and need to be further supplemented. The alternative (eg: a chalk board) is infinitely receptive, but only if one erases the previous inscriptions. The Mystic Writing Pad, however, represented an admittedly imperfect but illuminating example of how the psyche itself records material.

R. Kennedy, 'Treasures From an Underground Trove', International Herald Tribune, Aug 18 2009

Jacques Derrida, 'Archive Fever, A Freudian Impression', University of Chicago Press, 1996

Okwui Enwezor, 'Archive Fever, Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art', International Center of Photography, New York, 2008

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Speech and What Archive?

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.
Lizzy Newman
Kain Picken and Pat Foster
How Free
Short ride in a fast machine