Archives of the Commons 2: The Anomic Archive

Projects — 2020

This book brings together the lectures presented during the second edition of seminar Archive of the Commons II, which was co-organized by Foundation of the Commons, Museo Reina Sofía Museum and Southern Conceptualisms Network, and took place in Madrid in 2017. The seminar set off to review the role of the archive in contemporary culture, its metaphorical potential and also its possible use as a tool for knowledge and critical practice.

Various archival drifts have been widely explored in numerous exhibitions, publications, and encounters over the past two decades. Often, the archive has been analyzed from a double perspective. On the one hand, after recognizing the “archival turn” of the late 1990s, artists have turned to it as a primary source of information and as a formal structuring device and heuristic tool. On the other, the renewed interest in the archive, both by artists and by historians, has given special visibility and relevance to the archive’s problematic features, specifically as it is, in a certain way, a space linked to the exercise of power, surveillance and the imposition of norms for the preservation of memory, experience and collective identity.


The seminar, back in 2017, and also this book, published in 2020, explore different perspectives on institutionalization policies, methodologies and grammars that operate in different documentary bodies, as well as various strategies for socialization and access to art and politics archives.

The book, in addition to an introduction by the editors —Fernanda Carvajal, Mabel Tapia and myself—, brings together texts by Nancy Dantas / Center for Curating the Archive,  Graciela Carnevale / Graciela Carnevale Archive, Lani Hanna / Interference Archive, May Puchet / RedCSur, Philippe Artières, Daniel G. Andújar, Alessandro Ludovico, Red Conceptualismos del Sur, Paulina Bravo / Archiveras sin fronteras, Kristóf Nagy / Artpool Research Center, Eva Weinma / Piracy Proyect, Maite Muñoz Iglesias / LACA and YAXS, Ernesto Oroza / Disobedience Technology , Gareth Bell-Jones / The Flat Time House, and Francisco Brives, Néstor Prieto, María Gil, Patricia Rodriguez and Elsa Velasco / Museo La Neomudéjar.

The book was designed by Lucía Bianchi and Ramiro Álvarez, Buenos Aires.