Artist Archivist Residency
17th March 2020
When Harold Macmillian was asked for the most likely scenario that could plunge the Government of course, he famously did not say ‘Events dear boy events’. This phrase (not uttered) really sums up the current coronavirus crisis internationally. We are all trying our best to navigate the crisis, we are all trying with good intentions to do the right thing. We are all trying to show compassion, goodwill, determination and managing our community stress level! We here at the University archives are no exception to the rule.
Today we were meant to be announcing a creative collaboration between our University Archive and Artist Archivist. We had designed an artist in residence program to produce visual content inspired by our archive collections. However, since we all need a period of self-isolation – this project has taken a very different turn.
We are going to press ahead via remote means as best we can. Artist Archivist is a well-known creative practitioner who has merged their professional Artist & Archivist practices. Using creative output, Artist Archivist uses institutionally generated archival data to create new narratives. The work explores the ethics of visually manipulating information, alternating the narratives that have been preserved within archive collections.
Everyday in April, archives located through-out the United Kingdom (and internationally) will post content via twitter using #Archive30 , loosely related to a daily theme. The records held cover an extraordinary large amount of unexpected themes, reveal hidden stories pertaining to a wide variety of subjects. These resources are available for public access, and can support your academic visual / written research projects.
The #Archive30 campaign is designed to promote our archived heritage; for archivists’ to tell their stories. Indeed, the very fact we know Harold Macmillian did not say that phrase is a testament to the often, hidden purpose of an archive body. We preserve the collective memories of communities, society, institutions. Our records reveal stories, provide historical information and enable us to identify truth(s).
Our archive holdings are amazing, too many to mention. We hold records evidencing our University historical heritage. Hold over 80000 photographic prints within the International Television News archive, items used for the broadcast of international stories circa 1970 -1990. The Dymock Poets collection concerning a literary community which was formed and came to represent a significant development in the modern poetic tradition.
Originally, we asked Artist Archivist to browse records of interest and respond. Our residency was designed to be our fundamental contribution to the #Archive30 campaign. Due to events, we now must now enter a much deeper thoughtful collaboration from our respective isolated positions. This Artist Residency has sort of transformed into an Artist Archivist Residency!
We will try our best, but if we’re able to provide you with short distraction from international events – we feel we will have succeeded. #Archive30 will be on-going from April 1st – April 30th. You can follow our campaign via: