Archives for the Future conference, March 29th

Archives for the Future: An Art and Visual Culture Conference
Saturday 29th March 2014, 9.30-5.00
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

Organised by Mnemoscape with the support of the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture.

Keynote Speakers: Francis Gooding (Birkbeck) and Uriel Orlow (Westminster)

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?

Further details and programme at:

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

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