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Title: Archive Agencies. Tracing the Implied Producers of Media Art Collections
Authors: Søndergaard, Morten
Keywords: Media Art
Media Art Histories
Media Art Collections
Archival Agengy
Scandinavia Archives
Issue Date: 1-Nov-2017
Abstract: The relation between archives and history is, at best, a precarious one. It is often assumed that everything we need to remember or know is to be found in archives. And the way archives have been and are being used to write histories is based on hard selections that some will claim are necessary (because ‘not everything is worth remembering’). But archives are far from perfect. To find sound art or media art in archives is rare, if not impossible; Or, one could claim that to find most kind of artistic information or material from unpleasant or inconvenient realities in 3rd world countries is all but impossible; from my own Scandinavian background, it is clear that what can be found in archives is mostly from practitioners going to (or copying those that went to) New York in the 60s and 70s – but there is a whole other stage of production in Scandinavia which did not enter the archives at all. It is time to recognize the importance of those unarchived collections of media art and to make, what Flusser called a ‘deontological’ process of un-constructing the paradigm of all-encompassing archives (and the histories written on top of them based on narrow selections). My talk will trace what I call the implied producers of media art collections: Those agencies, human or non-human, artistic or non-artistic, that retrace the unarchived. And ask: what methods for writing histories are needed here?
Description: Biography: Morten Søndergaard (MA & PhD) is Associate Professor and Curator of Interactive Media Art at Aalborg University, Denmark. He is a member of the Media Art Histories Faculty and the co-founder and AAU-coordinator of Erasmus Master in Media Arts Cultures. He is the co-founder (with Peter Weibel) of ISACS – International Sound Art Curating Conference Series and (with Laura Beloff) the upcoming EVA-Copenhagen symposium. He was deputy director and curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde, Denmark 1999-2008. As Media Art Curator, he has operated in mixed and public spaces since 1995. Upcoming curatorial projects includes C / Borg – Parliament of Robots by Ken Rinaldo at the DIAS Gallery, which is situated in a S-train station in Copenhagen. His latest research is published / under publication at MIT Press, Routledge, De Gruyter,, MT Press (Copenhagen University), and (among others).
Appears in Collections:1. Re:Trace Conference - Keynotes, Papers & Posters

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