PhD Project of Julia Stolba
Affective Archives of Art. On shifts of time and transmission of knowledge
Phd project at Prof. Dr. Nora Sternfeld und Prof. Michaela Melián
Within my Phd project, the practices and possibilities of Affective Archives as social spaces of micro-politics of memory will be explored theoretically and artistically.
I understand Affective Archives as repositories that constantly actualize collective memory, create counter-narratives and open up space for knowledge of whose existence we do not even know about. This knowledge, which is part of the archive, with Michel Foucault's concept of the archive as the “The archive is first the law of what can be said“, is archaeologically excavated and made visible as affective memory work by means of artistic strategies. How this can be done and what can be changed in this way in the collective memory of the present and future will be traced theoretically, analytically and artistically. To this aim, I would like to understand the means of affectivity and affects artistic archival work, how atmospheres that can generate affects are created in exhibition design, through curatorial decisions, whether and if so, how affects can be mediated and what the form of an Affective Archive can thus look like. I will explore this in the theoretical part of the paper using case studies of places whose practice I understand as Affective Archives. At the moment, therefore I have SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and La Colonie in Paris in mind but potentially there will be more to come in the future. I want to process the material of these Affective Archives in my PhD, to evaluate and learn from the events that took place there and their documentation. There, also questions of the fragility and temporality of archives and their material are coming up, as Antonia Alampi and Bonaventure S. B. Ndikung elaborate in their text Das verwundbare Archiv when they talk about how SAVVY Contemporary dealt with an hacker attack that earased its archival material to a huge extend. Losses, mortality and even the death of archives thus must be considered as part of processes of archiving, not as the end of the archive but as a vitality that conceives its partly distruction as needed to live on and its losses as transformation. Through the practice of the Affective Archives, postcolonial, anti-racist, queer-feminist theories and knowledge productions not only form an alternative counter-canon to neoliberal-colonial understandings of knowledge in the global West, but also inscribe themselves in it, overwrite it, expose its contradictions and open up perspectives on how mutually detached discourses can instead be related, connected and be thought together. From this consideration of affective-archival, artistic memory work, I would like to work out in the practical part of the PhD how a micropolitical, Affective Archive practice could look like and be implemented. In doing so, I ask myself how bridges through time can be created by means of Affective Archives in places whose memory is increasingly prevented and overwritten. In a collective project, an artistic, curatorial and educational work of Affective Archives will appear that actualizes the (his)tories of places where they are neglected and that creates a space where actual shifts and changes can occur.
 Michel Foucault: The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, New York 1972, S.129.
 Vgl. Antonia Alampi; Bonaventure S. B. Ndikung: Das verwundbare Archiv, in: Martina Griesser-Stermscheg, Nora Sternfeld, Luisa Ziaja (HgInnen): Sich mit Sammlungen anlegen. Gemeinsame Dinge und alternative Archive, Edition Angewandte, Berlin/Boston 2020, S.203-205.
juliamaries (a) gmx.net