• The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict
    Dagmar Füchtjohann, Johanna Hoth, Markus Meissen, Laurent Schmid, and Yann Chateigné Tytelman
    Sternberg Press, 2016
    University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe

Sitterwerk, part of the library, 2010, St. Gallen, Switzerland. Courtesy of Johanna Hoth.

This research project and publication The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict deals with archival practice and its spatial repercussions. Inquiring whether any accumulation and organization of knowledge is productive—to the effect that it generates a narrative and/or history—this project focuses specifically on productivity produced by a spatial framework. Consequently, it debates the conflicts that arise when topological and architectural structures of archives overcome existing models of reservoirs. Archival practice takes place not only in traditional archives, but also within the processes of conception, realization, and reception, including museums, artistic work, and the fields of architecture and urban development. By achieving this transfer, the project makes an important contribution to the discussion of productive archival practice within these and other fields.

Markus Miessen is an architect and writer. The initiator of the Participation Quadrilogy, his work revolves around the question of critical spatial practice, institution building, and spatial politics. In various collaborations, Miessen has published, amongst other titles: Actors, Agents and Attendants (Sternberg Press/SKOR, 2011), Waking Up From The Nightmare of Participation (Expodium, 2011), The Nightmare of Participation (Sternberg Press, 2010), Institution Building (Sternberg, 2009), East Coast Europe (Sternberg, 2008), The Violence of Participation (Sternberg, 2007), With/Without: Spatial Products, Practices, and Politics in the Middle East (Bidoun, 2007), Did Someone Say Participate? An Atlas of Spatial Practice (MIT Press, 2006), and Spaces of Uncertainty (Müller & Busmann, 2002). His work has been published and exhibited internationally, including at the Lyon, Venice, Performa, Manifesta, Gwangju, and Shenzhen Biennials. Architectural projects include LU Arts Centre (UK), Gwangju Biennial Hub (Korea), Performa Hubs 09/11 (US), the reappropriation of a former post-office for Manifesta 8 (Spain), a new interior for Witte de With (NL), and the largest project to date: a masterplan and Kunsthalle building for a former NATO nuclear-warhead bunker facility in Germany. As a consultant, Miessen has advised The European Kunsthalle (Cologne), SKOR (Amsterdam), WIRE (Zurich), and the Government of Slovenia (New York). In 2008, he founded the Winter School Middle East (Dubai and Kuwait). He has held academic positions at the Architectural Association (2004–08), Berlage Institute (2009–10), and Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe (2010–11). He was a Harvard GSD Fellow in 2010. Miessen is currently a professor for critical spatial practice at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, and guest professor at HEAD Geneva as well as USC, Los Angeles. He is coeditor-in-chief of The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict (Sternberg, 2016).

Yann Chateigné Tytelman is a Geneva-based curator, critic, and publisher. He is head of visual art at the Geneva University of Art and Design. He has been working as chief curator at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux, after having worked at French Ministry of Culture and Pompidou Center in Paris. He curated and cocurated exhibitions such as Fun Palace (Centre Pompidou Paris);  Insiders: Practices, Uses, Know-How (CAPC, 2009); IDO: Explorations in French Psychedelia (CAPC, 2008); A Theater without Theater (Macba, Barcelona and Museu Berardo, Lisbon, 2007–08). He has also contributed to various publications and magazines, including Heimo Zobernig, Les Presses du Réel, Mousse Magazine, and Rosa B. Tytelman is coeditor-in-chief of The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict.

Dagmar Füchtjohann finished her studies in education at the University in Cologne (Germany) in 2006. She took on her studies in art science and theory of media at the University of Arts and Design (HfG) in Karlsruhe in 2007. She was part of the project SLaliterates, realised for the exhibition YOUser at the Center for Arts and Media (ZKM). She finished her studies in Karlsruhe in 2011 with a thesis about the exhibition of art of the GDR before and after the fall of the wall. Currently she is working in the Education Department of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf. She is an editor of The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict.

Johanna Hoth studies exhibition architecture and curatorial practice at the University of Arts and Design (HfG) Karlsruhe. The main aspect of her theoretical and practical work is the examination of artistic and curatorial strategies behind the manipulation of space. Together with Armin Linke she worked on the collaborative project Flocking, displayed at the 11th Architecture Biennale Venice. She participated in the research on a Carlo Mollino retrospective at the Haus der Kunst (HdK) Munich, opened in autumn 2011. For the Claes Oldenburg retrospective at the Museum für Moderne Kunst (MuMoK) Vienna in spring 2012, she developed the exhibition design and architecture under the leadership of KuehnMalvezzi. Together with Marc Bitz and Marius Gantert in 2012, she won the competition for the redesign of the Center for Arts and Media (ZKM) Karlsruhe foyer. Beside interviews with artists and architects for the publication series Displayer, she was editorial assisant for the issue Displayer 03. She is an editor of The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict.

Laurent Schmid develops narrative types of laboratory trials in the field between scientific and pseudoscientific physics, an inquiry into this system as a metaphor of social concepts. His work oscillates between digital and analogue media, including lectures, interactive works, radio, videos, installations, drawings, and photos. Schmid teaches and researches at the Geneva University of Art and Design. He previously studied at Basel Art School and Berne University. He is an editor The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict.

The University of Arts and Design in Karlsruhe (HfG) was opened in 1992. Prof. Dr. Heinrich Klotz established the University and the Center for Art and Media (ZKM). The unique connection between academic-, research-, and exhibition-oriented work corresponds to a new artistic and educational assignment: to apply traditional arts to media technologies and electronic manufacturing processes.

This project is based at the Institute for Exhibition Design and Curatorial Practice, which examines interrelated artistic, curatorial, and architectural-scale decision-making, located within specific spatial situations. The actual implementation of a curatorial concept depends on the conditions presented by the space in question. Whether private, institutional, or urban, any space used for exhibiting art generates a complex set of relations, both spatial and social, between artists, visitors, collectors, gallerists, curators, and designers. In short: the production of space calls for situational thinking in the conception and realization of exhibition projects.