Colloquia Exploring the Archive

When 6 Nov 2012 - 28 Nov 2012
Where The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA) / Tufts University

Installation View of Smithsonian Photography Exhibition, Cyanotype Thomas Smillie, ca. 1913. Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Monday, November 6  2012 10am-5pm
No Dust in the Digital Archive?
Remis Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115

Wednesday, November 28 2012, 5-8pm
The Critical Archive: Materials, Models and Methods
Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT)
Fung House, 48 Professors Row, Medford, MA 02155

Press Release:

No Dust in the Digital Archive?
Over the past few decades, the traditional space of the archive—physical and dusty—has sparked alternative knowledge and possibilities to contest history in the hands of visual artists and cultural activists. The archive has been mined and interrogated as actively for what it misses and hides as for what it displays and protects. More recently, following a desire for democratization, supported by a wide and effective dissemination of information and technologies to upload and store data, the static authority of the archive has been redirected to a participatory and mutable status. The production and use of contemporary digital archives problematizes notions of copyright, accessibility and permanency, offering a new form to connect with our past.

Alloy Orchestra, Man With The Movie Camera
Jessica Borusky, Feminist Inquiry, Artistic Practice, and the Archive
Bonnie Donohue, Killing Mapepe: Sex and Death in Cold War Puerto Rico
Marianne Hirsch, Connective Memories, Digital Archives
Mike Mandel, They Came to Baghdad
Susan Meiselas, Aka Kurdistan
Chantal Zakari, They Came to Baghdad

For more information please click here.

The Critical Archive: Materials, Models and Methods
This colloquium will be a multidisciplinary exploration of the function, definition, role of the ‘archive’ as adispositif or apparatus through which individual and collective history, memory, and identity are mediated in the 20th and 21st centuries.  If one of the defining characteristics of the traditional archive is its existence as a physical repository of knowledge, many other models and methods have reinvented the system through which verbal, visual, and aural materials are conceptualized, categorized and catalogued. This active questioning of what constitutes the archive—and how the archive constitutes ‘the commons’—has been accompanied by a recognition of its role as an ‘authority’ that governs relations of power. This event asks whether we can define what a ‘critical archive’ might be by examining practices from different disciplines, cultural contexts, and time periods.

Jeffrey Schnapp, What is an Archive?
Richard J. Golsan, Beyond History, Beyond Memory? The Novel as Archive in the New Century
Eric Rosenberg, Trauma’s Archive: Photography, Amnesia and the Failure to Document
Tina Wasserman, Unhinged Time in the Digital Archive
Gediminas Urbonas, Memory Hack: Taking Archives into One’s Own Hands

For more information please click here.