The concept of the anarchive is a key area of the SenseLab’s investigations across the North American, European, and Australian hubs. What an anarchive can be is to be invented. The question is how what moves an event into taking form can be archived, as opposed to documenting the content of the event. Can traces of the event’s liveness be captured, in a way that might set the stage for a next event to occur in its wake? The anarchive would then be a kind of process seed bank for the dissemination of forces of emergent taking form.
The invention of the anarchive has moved in different phases across our international hubs. These phases, more than extensions of the concept’s explorations, are intensities that have grown and continue to grow processually from within, and challenge the notion of the traditional archive by veering away from habitual institutional formations. They entail conversations, movement experiments, architecting techniques and material propositions. For now, these phases are speculated as:
- Conceptual and Material Force-Explorations – that took place from September 2015 (first as weekly sessions and is still continuing in a form of pop-up propositions)
- and Building the Anarchive – a phase that will begin in September 2016.
We work with anarchival explorations that we consider process seed banks. This suggests a technique for activating and sending forth the force of form of an event. In this process, material is a force of form and so is thought. Techniques we have explored include folding experiments (both fabric and paper), mobile cartographies (creating alternative geographies and landing sites), photographic experiments (cyanotype and polaroids, with a focus on the duration of the photographic process), movement techniques (focused primarily on developing attunement), and choreographic objects (working with the co-compositional force of materiality; a large amount of neutral fabric).
In its engagement with the force of form, the anarchive is invested in the question of how to make felt the infra-perceptible. How to make operative that which resists pinning down? How to activate this surplus share of previous events without committing to a full capture of their potential? And how to view research-creation as an engagement with an event-based practice that moves beyond the artist as individual?
Explorations and Processes
One actuator in the building of the anarchive was the appearance of a graffiti on the grass during an event in Australia in December 2014: “To avoid predetermination, generate a field with at least three elements”(Massumi in dialogue with Pereira, Australia November, 2014). The questions, discussions and continuously seeping memories around this event – more than departing points – became atmospheric attunements; flickerings in the air that in-form and participate in the re-orienting of the field of experimentation, what moves an event rather than its content. In collaboration with these flickerings, the anarchive exploration gathered momentum and moved across a series of conversations to speculate, create and invent the concept of the anarchive and with it to build what an anarchive could be.
*fabulation no2 *
At the beginning, traces from previous events were marked in different ways in the spaces: on the wall, on paper, hanging from the ceiling, etc. But it soon became clear that any static trace would depict the field rather than mobilize it. We encountered the problem of “marking”. Marking states, depicts and describes in a linear manner. The anarchive needed to allow to enter into the liveness of events always differently, in its multiplicity. From the problem of the “mark” as a gesture of a traditional archive, the anarchive wondered around a question that has been resurfacing at the SenseLab for years: How else to provoke generative tracings that could be mobile, appearing and disappearing, composed and re-composed?
“ This question lead us to materiality, differently. A fabric was brought into the space, together with other materials, to experiment with mobility. We wanted to develop attunement with the forces and tendencies of materiality and/or materiality and its forces were already turning us into this process. The forces of matter created an enterability into the concept of the anarchive in the act. Aligned with these ways, procedures and techniques were crafted for anarchiving, in-formed by the cloth, a raining level atlas, paper, rocks, dust, strings and more. Materiality’s own memory and multiplicities became part of the anarchival machine and proliferated into speciations that we consider the next phase: to build an exhibition on material practices in relation to anarchival forces. We call this Building the Anarchive.
the digital anarchive
“The question of how not to archive but to activate collectively generated movements sympathetic to traces of gifted ideas and materials is one we wrestle with. To begin with a gift from an emissary is to begin in the middle of something already tentatively reaching forward. How can our actions resonate with these gifts and drive adventure, how could their generosity invite care and attention, how could this flow through events impersonally. How does the gift fold into events already germinating, how is this felt in collective touch, knotting, unraveling. And, if these material traces activated this flow, how does it spread between bodies and materials, bodies-to-bodies – diagramming – so that traces are reactivated and entangled: expanded and troubled, not losing their connections but doubling them, resonating with future potentials.”
Within the phase of material explorations, during a period of six months, once every week, the SenseLab experimented with the concept of the anarchive through conversations and material practices that rapidly developed into anarchiving speciations. Similarly to how plants grow into difference, our experiments with materiality proliferated into various morphing formations.
Modes of existence are less species than speciations, where speciation is understood as an emergent field of relation. They are speciations because they don’t name a state, but activate a modality that pushes existence to its intensive limit. They are speciations because they don’t fit into existence preformed but activate the minor gestures of its most potentializing edgings into experience. As such they are ecologies, ecologies that activate differential tendencies in the milieu of their co-composition. Modes of existence act, cut, reorient: they are world-constituting procedures. (Manning The Minor Gesture 115-116)
The cloth anarchiving speciations
a long one to experiment merely with the becoming crease in a play of push and pull
a bundled one to experiment with fold-travel-unfold iterations
a triangular one to build an anarchival writing machine
a thinner one to experiment with ways of drawing movement and discover the
way architecture creates its own folds
Wondering how to share the process of anarchiving across hubs, the concept of the “anarchiving emissaries” was developed. For this, a series of three traveling boxes were built full of techniques , anarchic shares, lures, propositions and accompanying invitations. These invitations were seeded as activations for working with the concept of the anarchive, in an adding and sending forth ethos. For instance, one of the boxes contained propositions, a recording, and images – including a blue print of a hand. One of the gifted propositions read: ‘practice care and generosity impersonally as event-based political virtues’. The gift from the outside enables collaborative work to become more generative. It lends a hand and assists in creating the conditions for the making and sending forth a propositional gift. The Anarchive Emissaries have traveled to Germany and Australia, some have come back, others are still finding their landing sites. The idea was born from wondering what if the emissary was not a human form, what else could it look/work like?
The Anarchiving Emissaries Accompanying Invitation
Chorus (side 1)
what can 7 meters of cloth do? depart from constrained materiality; resist the quickness of scissors tend potentialities already in the making, that which is already moving, tugging, spilling inventing with and in relation to the materiality ov er t i m e . play with differential attunements rhythmically nd difference within repetition and vice versa invent pulls; lures for feeling, in duration to move with what is already moving co-composing ecologies in surplus of any ‘one’ wondering/wandering around with in betweens and more-thans entangling vibrations that resist capture
Refrain (side 2)
Proposition for individual or minor groupings:
please take an anarchival box for a walk* *spiralling walks, experiment different modalities of what walk can do. diagramming walks,
walks with-without displacement how could an encounter be activated with the rhythms already populating the event?
invent a durational constraint for relay
consider how a gesture generates potential and creates openings listen for when a gesture perishes
craft eventual landings.
anarchiving catches as a kite catches the wind. its process is bearing witness to its own undecidedness. a traditional archive seeks to capture value already in place. a record. an after-the-fact placement and or- dering. anarchiving cares for and moves with liveliness, always imminently, doubling the rhythms that are emerging as they are happening. it asks: what could an instant share with another(s)’?
post-t-endings:when nished, send it to someone-somethere else; shift, re-fresh or re-orient the eld, invent a new constra int.
The traveling boxes iteration
Procedure for Anarchiving
A procedure for anarchiving was invented from within the process. This is shared here as an example of the texts that traveled with the emissary boxes.
depart from constrained materiality; resist the quickness of scissors
tend potentialities already in the making, that which is already moving, tugging, spilling
inventing with and in relation to the materiality
o v e r t i m e
play with differential attunements
find difference within repetition and vice versa
invent pulls; lures for feeling,
to move with what is already moving
ecologies in surplus of any ‘one’
wondering/wandering around with in betweens and more-than
An anarchive book series
A force to produce a book series emerged from within the process of developing a practice for anarchiving . The first two anarchive book series have been printed:What is a Knot? (https://issuu.com/senselab/docs/senselabsanarchive_web/1) and Dust[ing] (http://issuu.com/senselab/docs/dust_ing__web/1.)
More information to come!
Sticks for modularity and foldable mobile structures speciations
A series of techniques were explored during our material practices: folding, drawing dusting, layering and printing. For this we had different workshops and propositions like cyanotype, polaroid doubling and silkscreen printing techniques!
Folding techniques, drawing techniques and layering techniques
proposition for cyanotye and screenprinting
Integration of the Anarchive into a Gallery
Part of the process of the Anarchive propells into a desire for sharing its form-taking in the frame of a gallery space. We are currently imagining what form the Anarchive will take in the context of an exhibition. This desire grew out of the Anarchive’s capacity for seeding forth a process in the making. Therefore, the work we propose to do in a gallery questions preconceived ideas of what gets included and excluded in the process of archives and documentation, and what other forms of knowledge could be generated. It is interested in a quality that redirects, escapes or reconfigures existing systems of value.
The goal in this respect is to create techniques to bring into appearance what is habitually left out on the sidelines, those moments of practice which do not register as having the consistency of their final product. While holding the necessity of form-taking, our hope is to give texture to what is seeded in the unlikely intervals of eventful process. We envision this as a live encounter.
Some of the techniques that we have developed are: intuitive tending, creating affinities to field for possibilities of fact, taking its forces for a walk, sitting with it, learning to move with what is already moving, subtracting with environmental attentiveness rather than individual selection, and practicing encounters that move from passive viewing toward a productive doing.
The anarchive exhibition proposes an almost geological layering of entering and activating live encounters, such as:
- Speculative conversations around the concept of the anarchive
- Folding techniques with fabric as material to tend to qualitative tendencies of encountering – Architecting the space with relay techniques for building anarchives
- Movement propositions and choreographic activations with materiality
- Anarchiving walks as doubling procedures for drawing and tracing
- Recording practices of light and sound to work with multiple more-than-human durations
- Conceptual compositions with experimental text
The intention is that these live events become part of the anarchiving process and keep building anarchiving practices.
Rehearsing the Exhibition
at the SenseLab
at the display case for the projectEveryday Archive* link
The Anarchive as Becoming Double Practice: Infiltrating other processes
* * doubling techniques * * for becoming
—–> double not as an other one but as a striation of a manyness in the one-many, remembering how to be polyrhythmic and holding more than one at a time
deviation – differentiation – variation
* * it takes time technique * *
—–> trusting the live encounter in itself; a way of attuning to the existing material, that asks for its own duration
* * in and out technique * * for thresholding
—–> not a fully becoming other, but a learning to double in and out of itself. like moving in and out of the doors, being in two rooms, peeking and doing. (and maybe maybe this is more than because the fact of the in and outing shifts the ecology of what is happening in the event. It makes a difference. So the event that is being anarchived is not the same as without the anarchiving doubling. In this sense, the anarchive is a secret agent that infiltrates-parasites the event)
* * a not fully formed but something like rehearsal technique * *
—–> when the anarchive emerging is never something fully formed that reached its satisfaction, but something for another futurity — shifting of value
* * the hanging out technique * *
—–> half conversations on trams while traveling, making food, micro-propositions while listening to something happening, before and after the event