Artistic Shadow Libraries

Find the File, Festival, 21-24 March 2019
Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt

The research project Creating Commons (Felix Stalder, Cornelia Sollfrank, Shusha Niederberger), based at the Zurich University of the Arts, is invited to present first results of its research as part of the festival Find the File. The festival is a discursive music festival that explores questions about collecting and archiving music, in discussions, concerts, and installations. It is about what new possibilities and challenges have arisen for archives with the digital, and how new forms of knowledge can develop through the collecting activities of ‘amateurs’. Last but not least, questions of accessibility will also be addressed.

Creating Commons is involved with two contributions:

1) Artistic Shadow Libraries, Video installation,
Creating Commons,
For the entire duration of the festivals in the foyer of the HKW

The interview montages show artists who create web archives as aesthetic commons practices: the art wiki monoskop, the no-budget avant-garde archive UbuWeb, the online libraries aaaaarg and, and, a database of 15,000 films. Through technical infrastructures, communities and mutual negotiation of terms of use, these ‘shadow libraries’ provide access to cultural goods – autonomous, collaborative, free. In times of progressing enclosures, they thus make an undogmatic and precarious contribution to wide accessibility and collaborative production of cultural memory.

2) Enter and Revive: Conditions for Accessibility and Reuse,
Discussion Sunday, 24 March 2019, 17:00
Guests: Diane Thram (musik anthropologist, Rhodes University), Marisella Ouma (Intellectual Property Consultant), Cornelia Sollfrank (artist and researcher), Gregory Markus (RE:VIVE, The Netherland Institute for Sound and Vision) Moderation: Florian Sievers

Archives and collections are increasingly making an effort to not only document the past but also to make their stock of material available for people to revive and experience, for the purposes of artistic- and knowledge creation. However, granting access to archival material implicates many legally and historically sensitive issues: What sort of tasks, what responsibilities do archives as well as archive-remixers have regarding provenance research, participation and accessibility? What practical examples are there for how to release the tension between reactivation and original context, reuse and author rights? What role does the immaterial character of music and sound play here? In what way can archival work become a commons-building exercise?

Creating Commons
Find the File Programm:
Installation Artistic Shadow Libraries: