// Posts Tagged ‘archives’

Article on queer activist archives in LN

Lambda Nordica, the great Swedish LGBT-studies journal, has just released a good looking issue on “Queer Methodologies”. I have an article in the issue entitled “We’re Here! We’re Queer? Activist Archives and Archival Activism,” related to my ongoing PhD project. It was written quite long ago, following my paper presented at the Feminist Methodologies conference in Stockholm in February 2009. I guess I think slightly different about some things now, but hey, that’s the joy of publishing from projects-in-progress. My abstract goes like this:

In the summer of 2008, a demonstration against hate crimes was organized during the Queer Festival in Copenhagen. In the article We’re Here! We’re Queer? Activist Archives and Archival Activism this quite conventional demonstration functions as the starting point for a discussion of activist archives and the writing of queer activist history. Discussing the recent queer theoretical interest in archives and historiography, the author argues for the importance of rethinking the material, temporal, and conceptual understandings of the archive when working with activist history. The text presents some of the challenges facing scholars wanting to write about social activist projects, from problems of documenting ephemeral actions to the deliberate destruction of archival material in fear of state surveillance and control. Through an analysis of the chanting of “We’re Here! We’re Queer! We’re not Gonna Disappear!” in the Copenhagen demonstration, the author develops the concept of archival activism, describing how activist actions can function as living archives of previous actions. Emphasizing the importance of embodied knowledge and memory in activist history, the author shows how travels and circulations of theoretical concepts and activist repertoires are central to the development of present queer activism.

This is the table of contents of the issue:

Fanny Ambjörnsson, Pia Laskar, Patrik Steorn: “Introduction”

Irina Schmitt: “Do you have a boyfriend? Feeling queer in youth and education research”

Anu Koinvunen: “Yes we can? The promise of affect for queer scholarship”

Mark Graham: “Things in the Field. Ethnographic research into objects and sexuality”

Mathias Danbolt: “We’re Here! We’re Queer?– Activist Archives and Archival Activism”

Patrik Steorn: “Queer in the museum: Methodological reflections on doing queer in museum collections”

The cover of the issue is from the amazing performance artist Mary Coble‘s work Blood Script (2008).

Order an issue of Lambda Nordica here!


Article on Al Masson

I have written an article on the French/Danish artist Al Masson‘s installations which is published in the anthology Talende bilder: Tekster om kunst og visuell kultur (Bergen: Scandinavian Academic Press, 2010). The article is entitled “Et dykk ned i følelsesarkivet: Al Massons reiseobjekter,” which in English would read something along the lines of “Delving Into the Archive of Feelings: Al Masson’s Travel(ing) Objects”.

In the article I perform an extended reading of Al Masson’s installations of and performances with found plastic objects, focusing especially on his fantastic exhibition Magasin (2008). In order to find a language for my erotic investment in Masson’s fragile and ephemeral plastic assemblages, I turn to affect theory and queer theory – from Tomkins to Deleuze/Guattari, Ernst van Alphen to Ann Cvetkovich.

The text deals with desire in art encounters as well as scholarly work; it discusses bad (or, rather, perversely good) object-choices and the erotics of queer archives – following up my writings on these matters in Lost and Found. Masson’s work is something to look into: here is a taste of one of his objects:

Al Masson: Object No 1297643, 1999.

A (very positive) review of the book can be found in Billedkunst.