Lectura sensible

Nadine K. Cenoz
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24.03.2022

How do the pieces of information in the recording possibly relate to each other and the bodily experience? What modes of categorization does one use to perceive and understand? How does the body navigate archives? Different times and spaces are overlapped and condensed — the digital and the physical, both non-linear, offer spaces from which to think the idea of representation without a fixed position from which to see.

This contribution is published in the framework of the Whole Life Academy.

Connected Material

The legacy of anti-colonial leader and Pan-Africanist revolutionary Amílcar Cabral (1924-1973) still calls for cultural readings, and not strictly political ones. Contemporary art, so-called “artistic research” and critical theory will benefit from a cross-disciplinary approach which puts Cabral as relevant to art or which turns Cabral’s many contributions into tools.

The audio map “biography of kecak” is an attempt to decrease this discrepancy between the singularity of archival knowledge and the multiplicity of individual realiities – using the sonic as its material.

The Perverted Archival Image workshop centered on and tentacled off from Studio Baalbeck. The workshop participants created an audio montage of recordings to accompany some of the visual archive material.

What does it mean to do archival research in embodied ways? Where is ‘the archive’ located in such an approach? And how might the open form of ‘the score’—a provisional map, a musical or performance score, a speculative cartography, an image atlas, a set of instructions—offer possibilities for articulating and transmitting the knowledge of elusive archives?

Beyond the objects in any given archive is a myriad of people, encounters and exchanges. The desire to locate the human element beneath archives is challenged by new technology. As part of ‘Life Stories and Archives’, we began a virtual ‘common archive’. Our collaborative thread addresses pertinent questions arising from shared interests in how individual’s origins, biases, networks and political struggles fuel the need to collect.

Delving into the notion of the desktop as an archival site and methodology, this contribution presents two divergent outputs resulting from collaboration between the participants and co-conveners of the Academy workshop “Desktop Shortcuts”: an in-development simplified database of hyperlinks, and a poetic game of disorder.

Imagine these fragments are a response to a not-yet-written manifesto for a hedonistic archive. Then imagine they are a response to a manifesto which cannot be written at all and should not be either.

This collective visualisation represents the outcome of our workshop. It represents our attempt to create our own archive on escape fantasies, inspired through theory and practice of the workshop sessions, which featured several interview with local Berlin artists and curators.

This essay explores the ways in which the counter-archive is animated through networks of people across time and place, as material is shared, presented and recontextualised, using the solidarity film-screening “Beyrouth plusieurs fois”, that was developed after the 2020 explosions in Beirut, as an example.

The emerging lexicon acts as its own active archive of a learning process. It serves as a tool in attempting to deconstruct the rich dictionary of memory and meaning held within Studio Baalbek film archive in Lebanon.