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Performing the Archive and Vilém Flusser

This text reviews the three phases of my research on the theme of the archive and in relation to Vilém Flusser. The first phase or direction examined the work of artists, mostly Brazilian, who destabilized the archive by creating fluid boundaries between their artworks, their writings, and the archives they created in order to historicize the movements they participated in. These reflections are included in my book Performing the Archive from 2009. The second direction is made up of two collaborations at Penn State University in the context of the digital humanities. These creative projects—a video and a sound performance—were developed with designers, scientists, and musicians between 2012 and 2013. The third phase, still unfolding, focuses on the fluid boundaries between the subject and the object of research, especially in decolonial practices, histories, and methodologies. In every instance, insights into the archive stemmed primarily from the dialogue with artists, but also from the exploration of a few curators and theorists, including Flusser.

Performing the Archive (PDF 777.15 KB)

Raising the Temperature of the Conversation in the 21st Century

The main goal of this presentation was to connect our wireless culture populated by “smart objects” and Flusser’s predictions for a telematics society, as well as to examine the inversions he envisioned in the exchanges between art and science. Seven artists have been included in the slide presentation: Eduardo Kac, a pioneer of Bio Art eroding boundaries between subject and object; Paul Miller, who creates sound pieces from scientific data; Laura Poitras’s documentary films and exhibition about surveillance and the use of remote technologies in war as well as Andrea Fraser’s institutional critique; Giselle Beiguelman articulating the concept of techno-cannibalism; Lucas Bambozzi exploring the invisibility of electronic waves, issues of obsolescence and waste; and the work of Cuban artist Ernesto Oroza’s notion of “technological disobedience”.