What Stays – Archiving Care is a year-long residency project exploring digital counter-archives and the role of technology in opening up alternative histories and memories. The project launched with an open call for three digital residencies for international artists of any discipline. The residents were selected by jury members Helen Pritchard, Oulimata Gueye, Clara Herrmann, Markus Huber, and Nora O Murchú.
In their projects, the residents explore alternative histories, oral traditions, and how counter archives can be built from Black kinship and care. Challenging records, reclaiming narratives, or writing differences into public accounts requires defiance and imagination, and brings oppositional experiences and knowledge together. Incomplete and unstable, archives have become spaces where accounts of histories are contested and expanded through acts of resistance and refusal. Examining the gaps, omissions, and the politics of metadata, What Stays – Archiving Care explores how counter-archives can be built through gestures of care; opening up alternative histories, narratives, and stories.
Responding to changing political realities, the project explores how objects, landscapes, built environments, and bodies can be rethought. It asks:
- How might counter archives be embodied differently and rethought through oral traditions, archival tools, and experimental digital practices?
- What tools and technologies, such as gaming platforms or artificial intelligence, account for more-than-human or unaccounted memories?
- What roles do care and imagination play in spaces of resistance, against official records and dominant narratives?
- How do artistic practices activate silence or omission, or refuse the politics of metadata and indexing?
- How do more-than-human agents shape new systems of knowledge and understandings of society, culture, and the environment?
- How might DIY archives built on intimacy, instability, and failure make new responsibilities and accountabilities visible?
- What are the values of the counter-archive and how do they transform or generate new political realities?
- Can archival practices affect climate change?
- Can counter-archives become living spaces of undoing, resignification, and repair?
- What role can archival practices take in the construction of new territorial imaginaries and identities?
What Stays – Archiving Care is a project by Akademie der Künste, Goethe Institute Slovakia, and transmediale and highlights artistic, speculative, and uncooperative practices that change perceptions of pasts and futures. Over the year the project partners hosted various event formats exploring and documenting the development of the residency projects and their outcomes.
Through this open call, the three projects were selected. The digital residency took place from August to October 2021.
The project was initiated by Nora O Murchú (Artistic Director transmediale festival), Clara Herrmann (Head of the JUNGE AKADEMIE, Akademie der Künste, Berlin), and Markus Huber (Director, Goethe-Institut Slovakia).
Project Management: Ricarda Bross (transmediale festival)
Communication: Antonia Deckert (Akademie der Künste), Linda Fintorová (Goethe-Institut), Anna-Lena Panter (transmediale festival)
Event Management Akademie der Künste: Franziska Benkel
Visual Identity: The Laboratory of Manuel Bürger (Manuel Bürger & Bárbara Acevedo Strange)
Website Development: Simon Knebl
Website Project Management: Anky Heidenreich (transmediale festival)