The archive is a space that is both place holder and site of activation. Traditionally, objects in the archive — be it printed ephemera, letters, photographs, official documents, or any number of other things — waited to be engaged and interpreted by disparate publics, through cataloguing, study, and exhibition. Today, with new online tools at our disposal, the archive has the potential to be digitized and made accessible to far wider audiences than could have been anticipated some decades prior. And yet, there are still so many urgent stories and profound histories that have largely been left out of archival records.
This panel brought together voices from three Brooklyn-based organizations – Asia Art Archive in America, Interference Archive, and the Franklin Furnace — that engage the digital and physical archive to further the goal of making visible a wide range of art-making practices, in both the United States and Asia. In a conversation moderated by Meghan Forbes, panelists explored how an archive can effectively build community through the preservation and propagation of certain narratives, and consider the natural dialogue between publishing platforms and collection practices.