ARCHIVISM: ARTIST ARCHIVES, INTERGENERATIONAL KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER AND HYBRID ART PRODUCTION PRACTICES
This research-creation project asks, how a contemporary form of archive in the Lac La Croix First Nation can be launched, based in intergenerational knowledge transfer and hybrid artistic practices? This archive will include digitized recordings of elders that will be made available to both the local community and project participants. It draws upon documentary and literary sources produced by the Lac La Croix community and artists Judith Doyle and Ron Geyshick in the mid-1980s.
Archivism aims to disrupt traditional boundaries between inside and outside the archive, mobilizing artist’s archives as dynamic, generative production tools. (1) This research-creation project asks, how a contemporary form of archive in the Lac La Croix First Nation can be launched, based in intergenerational knowledge transfer and hybrid artistic practices? This archive will include digitized recordings of elders that will be made available to both the local community and project participants. It draws upon documentary and literary sources produced by the Lac La Croix community and artists Judith Doyle and Ron Geyshick in the mid-1980s.
Using the archived recordings as a starting point, this research will develop site-specific art and curatorial projects and educational workshops taking place at OCAD University and the Lac La Croix First Nation. These endeavours will be well documented and the information will be disseminated as artworks, refereed articles, publications, conference participation and a project website.
The research engages creative participants from Lac La Croix First Nation, Northwestern Ontario and OCADU in Toronto. We focus on creating new archives, engaging intergenerational knowledge transfer. Our research asks the following questions:
- What can contemporary hybrid media approaches contribute to making things that become repositories of knowledge and affect?
- Is an open access form of archive most appropriate? What are the balances between community use and broader accessibility?
- How can archival recordings of elders who may have passed away, as well as documentation of altered, lost or endangered places and activities, become starting points for new works in different media?
- What mutual benefits accrue when urban artists and remote communities collaborate to respond to archival community materials?
- Can we pair excerpts of archival recordings with creators who respond to the original record, either because they remember the person who spoke it, are a family member, or otherwise respond, leading to artistic collaborations to create affective new works?
Through collaborative processes we strive to create studio spaces and practices where contradictions and complexities within the stories emerge, where the specific texture and content of experiences of the community are affective and present. We neither seek nor avoid strong sensation and difficult experience.
This project seeks to create bridges and networks between studio and community practices grounded in both traditional materials and contemporary fabrication. It supports meaningful archival development, research, and material creation by and with indigenous communities, particularly the Lac La Croix First Nation, and provides a context for artists, students, and academics to engage with practice-led, research-creation and indigenous research methodologies.
(1) Interview, Simone Osthoff, ‘Archivism (the dynamics of archiving)’, Neural ISSUE 58/Autumn 2017.
For more information and to view the original documentary, please visit http://www.readingpictures.com/project_laclacroix.html.