Call for Papers: Archives for the Future: An Art and Visual Culture Conference

Archives for the Future: An Art and Visual Culture Conference

Organised by Mnemoscape and supported by the IMCC.
Call for Papers: Deadline submission: 18 November 2013

Archives are becoming increasingly fetishized and (an)aestheticized in contemporary art practice and academic discourse. This conference comes out of a shared sense of frustration at this. In response, it intends to explore the present and futuristic potential embedded in the archive. Archives have generally been considered as conservative institutions aimed at preserving the past in the present – and so perpetuating the traditional structures of power. In contrast, we are interested in bringing to light the generative and creative side of the archive, what Derrida has defined as its ‘institutive’ power. How can archives be used to generate the ‘new’ and to convey possible alternatives to the present status quo? How can we turn archives from historical records into instruments of future planning and agencies of radical thinking? Is it possible to build an archive which works as an open space of imagination and a mean of projection into the future? Is it possible to archive the future to come and, at the same time, to remain open to the unpredictable and the unknown?

We invite submissions that are concerned with reinstating the archive as site of political confrontation, of action and intervention in the present, as well as as site of re-projection and re-imagination for the future. We are particularly interested in creating a dialogue between theory and practice and as such we welcome contributions from artists, thinkers and curators alike.

To submit a proposal please send an abstract (300-500 words), a CV, five key words and a short biographical note (100 words). Please send in a single Word document to:

For more information about the conference, please contact the conveners, Elisa Adami and Alessandra Ferrini at

Download the call for papers

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