The Big Archive: Art From Bureaucracy

The Big Archive: Art From Bureaucracy

by Sven Spieker
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262195704

ISBN-13: 9780262195706

Pub. Date: 08/22/2008

Publisher: MIT Press

The typewriter, the card index, and the filing cabinet: these are technologies and modalities of the archive. To the bureaucrat, archives contain little more than garbage, paperwork no longer needed; to the historian, on the other hand, the archive's content stands as a quasi-objective correlative of the
"living" past. Twentieth-century art made use of the

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Overview

The typewriter, the card index, and the filing cabinet: these are technologies and modalities of the archive. To the bureaucrat, archives contain little more than garbage, paperwork no longer needed; to the historian, on the other hand, the archive's content stands as a quasi-objective correlative of the
"living" past. Twentieth-century art made use of the archive in a variety of ways -- from what Spieker calls Marcel Duchamp's "anemic archive" of readymades and El Lissitzky's Demonstration Rooms to the compilations of photographs made by such postwar artists as Susan Hiller and Gerhard Richter. In The
Big Archive
, Sven Spieker investigates the archive -- as both bureaucratic institution and index of evolving attitudes toward contingent time in science and art -- and finds it to be a crucible of twentieth-century modernism.

Dadaists, constructivists, and Surrealists favored discontinuous,
nonlinear archives that resisted hermeneutic reading and ordered presentation.
Spieker argues that the use of archives by such contemporary artists as Hiller,
Richter, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Walid Raad, and Boris Mikhailov responds to and continues this attack on the nineteenth-century archive and its objectification of the historical process.

Spieker considers archivally driven art in relation to changing media technologies -- the typewriter, the telephone, the telegraph, film. And he connects the archive to a particularly modern visuality,
showing that the avant-garde used the archive as something of a laboratory for experimental inquiries into the nature of vision and its relation to time.
The Big Archive offers us the first critical monograph on an overarching motif in twentieth-century art.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262195706
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
08/22/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,083,960
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Sixteen Ropes Ilya Kabakov Kabakov, Ilya

1 Introduction 1

2 1881: Matters of Provenance (Picking up After Hegel) 17

3 Freud's Files 35

4 1913: "Du Hasard en Conserve": Duchamp's Anemic Archives 51

5 1924: The Bureaucracy of the Unconscious (Early Surrealism) 85

6 Around 1925: The Body in the Museum 105

7 1970-2000: Archive, Database, Photography 131

8 The Archive at Play 173

Epilogue Thomas Demand Demand, Thomas 193

Notes 195

Index 217

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