Radical Archives is a two-day conference, presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, organized around the notion of archiving as a radical practice. An international contingent of archivists, artists, artist-archivists, activist archivists, theorists and scholars working within a range of archives and archival practices will be invited to present and discuss archives of radical politics and practices; archives that are radical / experimental in form or function; how archiving in itself might be a radical act in certain moments or contexts; and how archives can be active in the present, as well as documents of the past or scripts for the future.
The conference will be organized around four major themes, include a number of presentation formats, and be supplemented by / documented through an online catalogue. We are calling for contributions relevant to these themes. Proposed formats could include panels, roundtables, individual papers or artist talks, performances or performance-lectures, screenings, interactive screen-based projects or live participatory projects.
Archive and Affect
Possible topics could include, but are not limited to: embodied / performed archives; archive and repertory; buildings as archives; oral and informal histories; private versus public archives, and transitions between those states; warm versus cold data
Archiving Around Absence
Possible topics could include, but are not limited to: disappearing archives; deliberately destroyed archives; inadvertently preserved archives, or unofficial histories within official histories; reading for the shadows; strategies of resistant or counter-archiving
Archives and Ethics
Possible topics could include, but are not limited to: stealing from archives; stealing as the foundation of archives; strategies of refusal or resistance to archiving; ownership of archived testimonies; intellectual property versus intellectual propriety; the afterlives of archives designed for specific purposes, e.g. archives of protests, activist movements, and human rights initiatives; the ethics of open access; FOIA and its discontents
Archive as Constellation
Possible topics could include, but are not limited to: archive as method; the artist’s archive; the expanded archival field or notion of the archive; linking of archives across networks; film as archive; subversive or experimental uses of metadata, cataloguing and classification; archive and database, database and interface; how standards and interfaces shape our understanding of collections and the information they contain