SKOOL 2009 : The Office of Archival Review

Summer Research Residency

June – August, 2009

Project Description

The Office for Archival Review is a group of artist-researchers that seeks to understand archival practices through on-site research projects. Employing a hands-on approach, the OAR’s production considers the role, relevance, and material possibilities of an archive by using this material as a site of interaction, exchange and production. Confronted with an ever-growing mass of historical material, Centre des arts actuels Skol recruited the expertise of the OAR to conduct an investigation of their programming archives. In turn, the OAR’s process questions strategies of record keeping and self-preservation within the context of an artist-run centre: accumulation, reduction, preservation and destruction.

Emily Pelstring, Product Transformation Specialist, reduces surplus information by reshaping old documents. Anne-Marie Proulx, Researcher and Collection Manager, creates files noting each person in the archives. Maria Raponi, Structures Specialist, creates blueprints and rebuilds sturctural systems for information. Sabrina Russo, Documentation Manager, reinserts depth into digital information and imagery. karen elaine spencer, Reappropriation Specialist, assesses and streamlines archives to ensure continued activity. Jasia Stuart, Information Officer, creates inventories and cross-links records. Karen Zalamea, Reconstruction Specialist, tests the accuracy of photographic documentation through refabrication. Anne Bertrand, Artistic Coordinator at Skol, collects from the inside.

The Office for Archival Review is coordinated by Sabrina Russo and Karen Zalamea as part of the Skool summer programming at Centre des arts actuels Skol.

As part of the Skool summer programming experiment at Centre des arts actuels Skol, the Office for Archival Review (OAR) is pleased to invite proposals to participate in a 5-week open studio project from 14 July to 15 August, 2009.

The OAR is conducting an investigation of Skol’s recent programming archive in which the centre’s history will become a tangible site of interaction, exchange and artistic production. Participants will be offered a shared workspace (non-toxic processes only) in the gallery and access to material from Skol’s programming archives to carry out production-based research. Drawing on individual practices, each participant’s contribution to the project will be framed by the following questions:

* What constitutes an archive?
* What is the role of an archive in an artist-run centre?
* What can be learned from using an archive as material?
* How is an archive useful? How useful is an archive?

The project will be guided by regular group meetings led by the OAR coordinators, Sabrina Russo and Karen Zalamea. The studio will be accessible to participants throughout the week for independent production and open to the public on selected days (to be determined by participants). Participants must be comfortable working independently, but open to engaging in weekly group discussions about their methodologies for the duration of the project. Issues surrounding the production, dissemination and ownership of re-purposed archival material will inevitably be raised.

In the spirit of Skol’s mandate, emerging art professionals with an experimental and critical outlook are encouraged to apply. While the primary working language at Skol is French, participants can work in the language of their choice. Up to five applicants will be selected. A modest materials budget will be shared on the basis of individual needs.