Constant started its worksession DiVersions with an afternoon in the Royal Museum for Art and History. Inspired by the way versions are embedded in the daily practice of software-development, we explored tools and infrastructures that invite different and divergent histories
The program included two lectures and a performance.
Laurence Rassel joined us to reflect on how digital archives can transform institutions. How to do things when we consider the institution as a space for encounters, creativity, possibility and risk? Organizing information is never innocent. This is the motto for Geraldine Juárez’ preemptive history of The Google Cultural Institute, an effort to "make the world’s culture accessible online". Viewing Google Art, Google Cultural Institute and Google Art & Culture through the lense of digital capitalism, she critically tracks the evolution of services that appears at a moment in time when public institutions are increasingly de-funded.
Christine De Smedt performed a first sketch of a series of movements based on her work Untitled 4. 4 choreographic portraits. Her radical appropriations have now become historical material that could be archived in a museum context. These transformative gestures allow for new readings that are not only determined by the logic of the archive, but also by the context in which they are read.
Like all other federal museums in Belgium, the museum is in the final stages of digitizing its very diverse collection: some 330,000 objects including clay tablets, tapestries, mummies, ancient jewellery, vases, coins have been inventoried. What types of alternative collectivity does this digital archive make possible and impossible? How can we use these time lines, histories, traces for other ways of inscribing multiplicity and variety?
The week following this public afternoon, The Museum hosted a group of artists, designers, archivists, writers, programmers and performers. They collectively experimented with archiving, versioning and digitisation. By working through and with tools that operate on data along temporal and social dimensions, DiVersions explored the potential for divergence within technological infrastructures.
Laurence Rassel (Brussels) is a cultural worker who can act as a curator, teacher or organizer. She was recently appointed director of the école de recherche graphique (Brussels). As director of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona, Laurence initiated Arts combinatòries, a place for education, exhibition and research situated within the archive of the institution.
Geraldine Juárez (México, Sweden) works with and across different media-technologies and its histories, stories, materials and contexts to understand how how information, knowledge and property is organized, regulated and exchanged under technological culture and within the market economy.
Christine De Smedt (Brussels) is a choreographer. As a way to come to a self-portrait she created choreographic portraits of four artists who have influenced present-day contemporary dance and still do: Jonathan Burrows, Alain Platel, Xavier Le Roy and Eszter Salamon. She assumed their words and stories based on interviews about their relationships between life and work.
Price: an entrance ticket to the Museum