The good fellows from the Archiving for Artists workshop I attended last year got in touch with me for a follow-up interview. I shared some thoughts, feelings, and insights with them; many of which you will find in the article on their site: Where Are We Now? Click the link for the whole article. An excerpt from it can be read below:
Idea 3: Cultivating archival perspectives early and often supports individual and community benefits.
Keanna introduced Idea 3 best when she wrote that “[b]efore this workshop, creating an archive was something [she] hadn’t even considered. The fact that [she is] young with a smaller body of work than someone further along in their career affected how [she] viewed [her] work, which [she] felt was not ready for archiving. However, the workshop made [her] realize that this is actually a great time to establish and start maintaining one.” The pressing need for a studio archive gained further clarity after returning home to finish a series of paintings for an exhibition. As Keanna approaches the series’ completion, the more her “space for them is dwindling!” Once a critical mass is reached, a lack of archival storage and tracking will actually hinder her workflow, early-career artist or not.
On the other hand, with an archive established and maintained, Keanna could create a workflow that would allow her to “quickly and easily locate work without the added stress of figuring out where it’s stored or exhibited.” In fact, all three artists commented on this virtue of documentation paired with storage and location. Alberto also requires “a system to track the location(s) of [his] work,” though he focuses more on “once they have left the studio, exhibition records for each piece, etc.” Eric faces this documentation struggle from a legacy frame of mind, noting the purpose of maintaining an artwork inventory to “keep record of works for provenance purposes, serving both my personal collection as well as public and private collectors of [his] work.”