Time and the Artwork

How does archiving necessitate dealing with the durability, or lack of it, of archived objects? How might we rethink archiving in response to objects, texts and artworks that have a built-in duration, that are explicitly and intentionally transient, that require specific practices of care, or that are made to decay?

The third workshop considered questions relating to time and the archive, in particular in relation to the decay and duration of objects, specifically artworks. We had three talks from artists which offer different perspectives on this: Daniel Belasco Rogers uses GPS systems to track and archive his daily activities: this is an archive that traces movements in real time; Jem Finer created Longplayer, a musical composition intended to play for a thousand years and to focus attention on long duration and slow development in an era marked by rapid change and frenetic cultural forms; Stuart Brisley and Geoff Cox spoke about the Museum of Ordure, their online museum in which everything visibly decays and deteriorates, and about Brisley’s past work with decay and putrefaction. After lunch we looked at examples from Arnolfini archive where decay, deterioration or temporality has become an issue and considered objects from our own archives or personal collections, which were telling about the way time works on/through things. Martha Wilson, founding director of Franklin Furnace, New York, attended the workshop in advance of giving a talk about her work presenting and archiving time-based art (an event organized by Performing the Archive event, and funded by Great Western Research and University of Bristol). >


Daniel Belasco Rogers

View the slide presentation by Daniel Belasco Rogers

Jem Finer

Stuart Brisley and Geoff Cox