The Oracle and the Algorithm: Workshop and lecture

The archive is the ultimate rabbit hole.

— Kate Crawford

6.03.17 at Pori Art Museum and Aalto University, Finland.

CuMMA studies Discourse Series– Studies in Curating, Managing and Mediating Art.

In collaboration with Sophie Dyer.

The Oracle is the medium, soothsayer, shaman and search engine – meaning literally ‘to speak’ — the oracle articulates the archive. Whether you believe her words or not, they are prophetic. Her utterances have a futurity. ‘Worlds world worlds.’ (Donna Haraway) The Oracle's existence is subject to rituals, rites and algorithms.
        Guided by the figures of the Oracle and the Algorithm we will navigate the collections of Pori Art Museum.
        Our workshop will ask how to articulate the archive in its always partial and incomplete state. Through the creation of image complexes and strategies of displacement we will engage in practices of (re)assembling, (re)animating and (re)composing. We will test the malleability of ‘documents’ and explore methodologies of sampling.
        The outcome will be series of proxy archives. Our notion of the proxy archive draws on existing ideas of the ‘counter archive’ (Abbas and Abou-Rahme), the ‘anarchive’ (Zielinski and Weibel) and our own experiences in exhibiting. The anarchive "does not lay claim to leadership or truthfully know where things come from or where they may be headed to.” It is an assembly of "poor images, mutated copies and re-inscriptions.”

Shared readings * Abbas, Basel and Abou-Rahme, Ruanne (in conversation with Tom Holert). (2013) Journal of Visual Culture, (12)3. pp 345-363. The Archival Multitude.
* Zielinski, Siegfried. (2015) Journal of Contemporary Archaeology. AnArcheology for AnArchives: Why Do We Need—Especially for the Arts—A Complementary Concept to the Archive?
* Crawford, Kate. (2016) Astro Noise, ed. Laura Poitras. 'Asking the Oracle’ pp 128-14

Proxy-archives: touching without touching
6.03.17 at Aalto University, CuMMA – Studies in Curating, Managing and Mediating Art.

In collaboration with Sophie Dyer.

Over the course of a series of chance commissions we have had the opportunity to develop a design practice focused on archives and their logics. For this lecture we will discuss our practice through notion of the 'proxy-archive’, drawing on recent work with freethought for the Bergen Assembly. For us proxies are those which have authority to represent someone or something else – they are placeholders that may or may not bare resemblance to the originals. As designers the tasks we undertake necessarily conflate production and subject-matter. Tonight we ask how to conjure the archive in its absence? How to touch without touching?