The lecture series continues this week with the legendary TOM MARIONI speaking about the Museum of Conceptual Art (MOCA). More new events have just been inked into the calendar – add them to your own!
Ted Purves came and spoke about his interest is the Archive, his relationship with the late, great archivist of artists’ ephemera Steven Lieber, and his collection of mail art from the Czechoslovakian conceptualist J H Kocman. One interesting point Ted made was that mail art was a liberating format for conceptual artists from the Eastern Bloc and from dictatorship-dominated Latin America. Sending the small work abroad was a whimsical slap in the face to censorship.
The public is invited to engage with materials by arranging and juxtaposing them to create meaning. Imagine you came across these things as an archaeologist- what would you make of them? How does creating an order change the meaning?
Here are some examples from last Friday night:
The Bay Area drawer, with selections from YBCA, activist projects, food projects (both art and artful), The Thing Quarterly’s first subscription note, and lots more.
New York and More, with Adrian Piper’s calling cards, Gran Fury’s Read My Lips postcard, Peter Haaken Thompson “A” card, Temporary Service’s Art Work, Paul Ramirez Jonas’ Key to the City passport, Jen Delos Reyes’ People Never Notice Things notebook, and more
Amazing how crazy it seems to save a collection of something. Today, with the help of interns, we managed to organize in chronological order the original posters from the Heinz Afterworld Lounge, a club I booked in 1991-2, which then moved to a few different venues. Thanks to hoarding these posters and calendars,w e were able to put together a fairly complete memory of what bands played & toured here in the early 90’s. There are missing pieces though. I wonder what fan or musician might have a copy of the missing posters or calendars. Would anyone else have saved these? Does it simply take being an intimate stakeholder to have the dedication of a good archivist?
Sean Orlando and David Shulman have been selected to design and create a large-scale permanent “Gateway” installation in Tacoma, Washington. The public art installation is based on Galloping Gertie, the giant octopus that legends says lives under the bridge and Tacoma’s unique architectural elements, such as trestles and arches. Read about it in Black Rock Art Foundation’s newsletter.
Today I met with Lincoln Cushing, archivist at Kaiser Permanente (which, by the way has a far more diverse history than health care), and archivist/mastermind of Michael Rossman’s 24,500 political posters going to OMCA’s collection. These posters were acquired after Rossman’s death in 2010, and were brought to the spotlight with the help of a project by The Oakland Standard, Collaborative Cataloguing. Lucky for the collection, the Museum had the funds available to digitally catalogue, as well as preserve it.
Lincoln continues dedicating a half day each week to cataloguing these posters and searching for information about them. He is a firm believer in the work of “amateur” archivists and their roles in preserving culture and creating value. He said the most important thing a professional can do is to preserve the taxonomy of the citizen scholar’s work, as within the taxonomy lies the meaning.
I am hoping to do a taxonomy workshop with Lincoln in the coming months. Yay Lincoln!