The VOLUMES Archive LEARN aims to research news forms to organize and understand the paradigm of the archive. Archives are normally understood as a coherent form of organization, having as objectives to unify, identify, classify the elements within a determined body of documents, objects, etc. The VOLUMES Archive is on the contrary a diverse collection of material that has been mostly donated through the International Open Call Exhibition within the VOLUMES book fair since 2013. Therefore, it presents a challenge to the classical idea of archival categorization because there hasn’t been any systematic process of selection and articulation – besides the different sections that have been donated as such. Probably, the one common aspect within the collection is the medium: it consists of printed material, but because they are embedded in the DIY-facet of art publishing, the variety of their aesthetics, goals, themes etc, reinforces the idea of a distinctive collection that lies beyond the “rules” of archiving. Taking this contradiction as a starting point, we would like to research new forms of categorization and activation that take differences, associations, interstices and lacunas as categories to re-think the paradigm of the archive and permit us to develop new appropriate tools for the VOLUMES Archive.
We are a varied group of artists, curators, publishers and researchers. Every member has different experiences in the framework of self-publishing and/or archiving. This allows us to aim for a multiple, non-hierarchical, interpretative conception of the archive. In this way, the collaboration takes the form of a rhizomatic process in which the heterogeneity and multiplicity of our decentered collectivity meets productively in the archive. This approach has been intensified by the current situation created by COVID-19, in which we cannot meet regularly to work, but taking further the rhizomatic analogy –rhizomes may break as well and create new roots–, the actual situation can only permit us to start new perspectives. The LEARN consists of the working groups: Nature/City, inter:archive and MEXA!
We would like to look at the possibilities of digital representation in the website and create a visual narrative that corresponds to this non-lineal idea of systematization we will like to develop for the VOLUMES Archive. Furthermore, we would like to produce a multi-format series which generates different sets of knowledge within the section. The goal would be to find associations and distinctions, singularities and commonalities, coalitions and ruptures between the publications and find a format (podcast, essays, photographic series, videos, etc.) that elaborate on these relations. Finally, we would like to integrate the results of this case of study and define lines of application to the VOLUMES Archive as whole and reach our original goals of cataloging (database and physical archive form), activation (website) and presentation (exhibitions) of the complete Archive.