Performances and artistic discources on archiving

This EDN Atelier is integrating the 11th edition of the artistic-theoretical parcours SCORES of Tanzquartier Wien. It seeks to investigate the diverse practices and strategies of potential and constantly actualized archiving, the archives of the future, continuosly arriving, the archives to come. SCORES nº11 thereby searches to distinguish tendencies, possibilities and means offered by contemporary choreographic practice in comparison to and in alliance with other disciplines.

Through the activity of archiving a potentially concrete presence invents itself anew constantly, a present tense in which an individual or collective subject re-orients and re-locates, relates itself to. Via the tracing, collecting, arranging of objects and materials the past simultaneously formulates as a future, and the future as a past – as that which could have been, as that which will have been.

A discoursive approach to archiving

In this EDN Atelier we looked into questions as about the desire and agency of collecting and archiving in front of constantly changing artistic and political situations, under moving conditions, in states of transition. Or further: in which critical situations the need or even necessity of undertaking and inventory (of a presence) emerges, in order to relocate and establish new relationships towards the existing master narratives – as in many archives from below, where through changing the grammars of the past new paths and possible continuities get established? Which affects and desires are inscribed into such acting?

Within this thematic field especially the parts and aspects of archive, which are out of sight, that which withdraw/distract from a possible meta-level of reflection and to which we don’t easily have access, play a role. They often speak to us only in traces and symptoms from the different stores and layers (body, space, time) they reside in and make themselves perceivable and visible mainly in non-controllabe situations. How can the discourses that inform us be unmasked, our blind spots revealed and where do we carry “our” culture(s)? Jacques Rancière wrote, that identity is only a question of space and that we have to travel, to move in order to disclose it.

In this notion of archive objects and materials cannot simply claim or get rid of their causality through the contexts they are set into, but simultaneously bear and tell “their own” (hi)stories independently from the projections of the archiver. In a practice of active archaeology objects and materials themselves experience subject status, archivers and their bodies themselves get part of the object of investigation, since they themselves also have to be examined in relaton to their inscriptions, ascriptions and overscriptions. Per se they can register/record and be registered/recorded only in the process, temporarily and situatively: also in a sense that they unresistingly set themselves into relation with (their) memory spaces, “refuge areas”, that do not exist any longer, that are left behind and still are taken with, which can be archived/activated, as spaces to be, as archives to come.

Find six video recordings of the Atelier here.

Find the full programme in the Atelier's booklet.

Tanzquartier Wien

TQW | Centre for Contemporary Choreography and Performance

Vienna I Austria