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Archive This | An Afternoon Symposium

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Archive This
Saturday 21 September, 2–5.30pm

Taking its cue from ‘Dear Lynda…’ this afternoon event offers a range of perspectives on and approaches to creating and utilising libraries and archives. Join us for short talks by curators, artists, archivists and academics as we discuss the politics of libraries, ephemera relating to Conceptual Art and archives in the digital era.

To book a place for this event email

Lynda Morris and Director of Eastside Projects, Gavin Wade will start the afternoon with a conversation about the exhibition ‘Dear Lynda…’ which documents Lynda’s life as a curator, writer, art historian and patron. For more information about ‘Dear Lynda…’ click here.

Short break

Samantha Epps, PhD student at Norwich University College of the Arts will present on her research into conceptual art from 1966 – 1973. She will show examples of documents including drawings, proposals, correspondence, installation plans and instructions and discuss whether they can be considered ‘artworks’ rather than just supplementary material to exhibitions. As an introduction to the documents she will consider key texts by artists such as LeWitt, Weiner, Huebler, Andre etc. and Seth Siegelaub, many of whom feature in the ‘Dear Lynda…’ show.

Artist and archivist Karen Di Franco will discuss her work with collections of materials and ephemera relating to artistic practice and book production, with the archives of both individuals and institutions.

Short break

Dr Kieran Connell
, research fellow in the Department of History at the University of Birmingham will introduce the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, a hugely significant school that was based at the University of Birmingham from 1964-2002. He will share the process of developing an archive of the CCCS and discuss the importance of documenting the Centre’s work and making this information publicly available.

Artist Ruth Beale will talk about the importance of libraries as a litmus paper for the way that culture, education and public space are thought about at certain moments. Libraries and archives feature in all of her works, including Pamphlet Library, Now from Now, All the Libraries in London, and Public Knowledge. Beale will discuss the way that these works address the cultural and political significance of the library.

The afternoon will conclude with questions and a discussion.

Speakers’ Biographies

Ruth Beale employs collaborative and discursive processes means to explore the relationships between culture, governance, social discourse and representation. This process of socialised questioning feeds into performance, drawing, writing, video and the collection and re-presentation of archival materials. Recent exhibitions include ‘Words to be Spoken Aloud’ (Turner Contemporary, Margate, 2013), ‘On the desperate and long-neglected need for small events’ (LGP, Coventry, 2012), ‘Now I Gotta Reason’ (Jerwood Space, London, 2012) and ‘Ad Hoc’, a space and events programme created for David Roberts Art Foundation (London, 2012-2013).

Kieran Connell is currently working with Professor Matthew Hilton on a project that explores the working practices of the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. To mark the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the Centre’s establishment, an archive of Centre material has been established at the Cadbury Research Library, including deposits from Stuart Hall, Richard Johnson, Michael Green and Anne Gray. Kieran is currently organising a major conference and exhibition on the Centre’s work. After completing his BA at the University of Bristol, Kieran did his postgraduate research on race in 1980s Handsworth at Birmingham. Following his PhD he went on to work as a Research Assistant at the Open University, before returning to Birmingham in 2013.
To read more about the CCCS follow this link.

Samantha Epps’s PhD research project Document as Artwork: Artists’ Pages in Catalogues, Periodicals and Printed Ephemera 1966 – 1973 examines how European and American artists documented ideas and artworks during the conceptual era. The research investigates how artists’ documents enabled audiences to access concepts and processes through the inexpensive and direct medium of the publication that accompanied, underpinned and on some occasions, entirely replaced traditional exhibition methods. Samantha’s research is supervised by Prof. Lynda Morris at Norwich University of the Arts.

An artist and archivist, Karen Di Franco has worked with collections of materials and ephemera relating to artistic practice and book production with the archives of both individuals and institutions. Recent projects include the development of Book Works online archive and the touring exhibition and publication, Again, A Time Machine (2010-2012). She has been an independent researcher in the UK Web Archive at the British Library and currently works with the Contemporary Art Society and CHELSEA Space.