Hit Record: Archiving Existence

Hit Record: Archiving Existence aims to deconstruct and critique the archive and challenge archivists by questioning how we can critically engage in and re-imagine archives. How we can insert ignored narratives, and creatively reconfigure the power structures that traditional archives uphold. Hit Record: Archiving Existence surrounds itself in the possibilities of queer feminist archiving, documentation and activism.

My initial intention with exploring the archive as a theme in contemporary art was to create an archive that could incite empathy for the viewer within the content. The materials and content I have weaved into this exploration speak to older technologies of archiving or record keeping, for example the typewriter and the rolodex, as well as communication by including rotary telephones. Using analog technologies as well as digital photography provides multiple entry points into the stories, lives and gazes of the queer folks involved. To allow viewers to engage with the material in different ways, and to change perspectives of what an archive could offer. By incorporating audio, photography, and interacting materials, it broadens the audience to allow inclusion of different means of communication.

Focusing on the individuals within the archive, as well as the archivist, Hit Record: Archiving Existence challenges the idea of archiving as a non-biased documentation process. Exploring other possibilities for archiving historical or current events and places as well as inclusion of lived experiences and realities. I wish to present viewers with different ideas of what a queer feminist archive can look like while not handing them a definite answer or solution, but a possibility model. The archive is presented in different mediums such as text, audio and visual components. Focusing on queer women and femme people, trans folks and Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) in an active effort to focus on the folks who are often written out, while also including them in the curation of the material and the archive. This allows everyone involved to partake in the curation of the archive, challenging ownership and encouraging collaboration in order to multiply all voices. 

By re-contextualizing the analog technologies, it provides new meanings to their function in the context of the queer feminist archive. Rather than an address book, the rolodex acts as a container for stories between imagined people, cultural events and spaces. Focusing on lived realities of people who identify as queer, merging with current and historical events within the queer community.

This project aims to critique the ways in which archives are created and the forms of knowledge that are seen as legitimate, while providing a possibility model for the future of archiving practices. The queer archive validates queer lives and bodies within the context of academia and institutions in which queer lives have been written out. However, it uses that space to disrupt and re-imagine how archival practices are constructed and the involvement of others in recording and documenting. Hit Record: Archiving Existence rejects the singular notion of archivist and history, and multiplies voices where all folks can envision a future in which they are present.