locality / translocality (of discourse)

Site specificity, locality, conxtextuality can be the bucking points of a long discussion concerning the value of such notions and the emerging of relevant questions regarding the parameters that describe them. Locality can lead to localism and particularism but on the other hand can be valuable tools for one to investigate whether, specific factors lead to different approaches, to differentiated schematizations and formats concerning subjects, forms and mediums together. To this end one can explore whether locality of discourse is really a crowbar outside generalized approaches or a reactionary defense mechanism.

This particular research intends to engage artists and theoreticians in the production of (artistic) proposals which will concern the city of Patras, where the program takes place. Patras has taken up the characteristics of a multicultural city. Due to its nodular position as a gateway to Europe, to its vicinity to important historical and natural locations, as well as to the presence of higher education institutions, it concentrates a great number of social groups, such as students, tourists, economic immigrants and refugees. Exposed and overt to a globally interconnected network of migrations and financial flows, Patras, today, is going through a period of crisis, where development and potency are followed by problems of social coexistence and identity, laxity of social bonds, and debasement of public space. The recent and sudden inflow of a great number of refugees in the town center produces difference, conflict, but also the possibility to construct new localities, a new hybrid reference point, and, eventually, a new public sphere. It is obvious that prior spatial memory forms (museums, monuments, anniversaries) represent stable notions of social identity and are no longer sufficient so as to create new symbolic reference points.

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About

Archive Public
A research art project.

Within the flexible limits of archival art today, Archive Public practices archival art as intervention in public space, questioning the dominant hegemony and allowing for possibilities of solidarity actions. It aspires to the creation of a broader productive collaboration network triggered by two theoretical research assumptions and an open body of works which tries out archival interventions in conflicting urban situations, in Patras and other european cities.

The first phase of the work developed theoretical propositions and art projects in Patras, Greece. It was realized with the support of the C. Carathéodory research program at the University of Patras. An edited volume, Archive Public. Performing Archives in Public Art. Τοpical Interpositions, documents this first phase of the project, and is available from Cube Art Editions.

The book includes theoretical hypotheses on archival practice in contemporary art, art works that were specifically created for the project, as well as an anthology of essays by contemporary thinkers who elaborate on particular issues of the archive in relation to the public sphere and theories of democracy, the notions of institution and instituting practice, interventions in the shifting urban condition, the philosophy and archaeology of media as well as the global flows of migration and media. Interventions focus on the urban and social condition of Patras, as it is influenced by a translocal dynamics which produces interrelations with other localities.

Participating artists: Yota Ioannidou, Maria Konti, Gregorios Pharmakis, Lina Theodorou, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Vangelis Vlahos and Nayia Yiakoumaki.
Texts by Arjun Appadurai, Ioannis Chorianopoulos, Wolfgang Ernst, Boris Groys, Elpida Karaba, Panos Kouros, Oliver Marchart, Gerald Raunig and Saskia Sassen.

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This multiuser weblog has been set as a working, exhibition and archival platform for the participants, to actuate different forms of collaboration. We plan to bring together theoreticians and practitioners from different cities and localities who are working on similar issues of archiving and intervention in the public sphere. We are seeking projects and theoretical works relevant to the Archive Public topics, as well as feedback texts responding to the art projects as they develop.

To submit a text or a project, please write at archivepublic{at}upatras{dot}gr

Panos Kouros-Elpida Karaba


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