Productive Archiving discusses a variety of problems of archival organizations. It mainly focuses on the following three issues that are usually overlooked: first, the question of inclusion in or exclusion from the archive; second, the loss of individuality in the archive, the danger of homogenization; and third, that archiving may become a form of pigeonholing, boxing specific identities into a confined space.
Avoiding the archive because of these problems is not an option, because archival organization is a basic symbolic mode on the basis of which we organize our lives, the past, the present and the future. What this book suggests is that it is best to explore constructive and creative solutions for these problems. Especially artistic archives seem to be able to develop these possible solutions, because they offer speculative, unexpected ways to order, select, and narrate specific information, and bring about new connections and archival organizations.
Contributors: Ernst van Alphen, Aleida Assmann, Annet Dekker, Lars Ebert, Sebastián Díaz Morales, Monika Huber, William Kentridge, Pablo Lerma, Inge Meijer, Santu Mofokeng, Merapi Obermayer, Walid Raad, Ana Paula Saab, Drew Sawyer, Carla Subrizi, Marjan Teeuwen, Daria Tuminas, Jeffrey Wallen.