Productive Archiving: Artistic Strategies, Future Memories, and Fluid Identities

In his essay, The Archival Space of Herengracht H401: Artistic Research as Productive Archiving, Lars Ebert elaborates on the layered and complex history of the house of Gisele. He also explores the archival impulse through three artists, Amie Dicke, Ronit Porat and Renée Turner, whose artistic research at H401 unveils and generates other narrative and aesthetic encounters that connect the past to the present.

Productive Archiving: Artistic Strategies, Future Memories, and Fluid Identities
Edited by Ernst van Alphen

Productive Archiving discusses a variety of problems archival organizations. It mainly focuses on the following three issues with archival organizations that are usually overlooked: first, the question of inclusion in or exclusion from the archive; second, the loss of individuality and specificity in the archive, the danger of homogenization; and third, that archiving may become a form of pigeonholing, boxing specific identities into a confined space.

Avoiding the archive because of these problems is not an option, because archival organization is a basic symbolic mode on the basis of which we organize our lives, the past, the present and the future. What this book suggests is that it is best to explore constructive and creative solutions for these problems. Especially artistic archives seem to be able to develop these possible solutions, because they offer speculative, unexpected ways to order, select, and narrate specific information, and bring about new connections and archival organizations.”

Read more about the publication and its contributors at VALIZ.