Gabriel Pereira

When the archives speak back: A few impressions from Bodies of Knowledge

As part of the Deviant Practice programme, Bruno Moreschi and I have developed a collaborative research on using commercial computer vision algorithms to read artworks from the Van Abbemuseum collection. We premiered the video, one of the final results of this study, during the Museum Take Over: Bodies of Knowledge (3-5 May). This symposium brought us, alongside other Deviant Practice researchers, to talk about the research developed in the past year.

The Deviant Practice programme describes its objective as: “to deviate from the systems of knowledge production enshrined in the modern art museum. We understand the prefix ‘de’ in deviance in relation to notions of demodernising, decolonising, deprivileging or decentralising”. Amongst all researchers/artists, a possible red thread seemed to be a curious look into the archives and documents of the museum (as an institution), in order to interrogate what histories and experiences are told not only from what’s in “the data”, but also what’s below/on top/on the sides of it. What makes this a particularly interesting process is that most researchers focused on the generative aspects of this look toward the archive, with a clear interest of foregrounding the process of looking (rather than the results of it).

Examples of this analysis were:

Thanks to the Van Abbemuseum and all researchers for making this happen and for sharing their deviant bodies of knowledge.

Read the programme and other presenter’s research in the Van Abbemuseum website.

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