Final programme for “Giving up the Archive?” study day announced

We now have a final programme for ‘Giving up the Archive?’ study day on 1 July examining the archives of arts organisations – see details and information on bookings below:

Giving up the archive?

Reflections on the creation, examination and dissemination of arts organisations’ archives.

1 July 2013, White Cube Gallery, Bermondsey SE1 3TQ

Many arts organisations are interested in locating and exploring their archival heritage. What are the driving forces behind this interest? How much archive material survives, where and in what condition? What can archives tell us about the history of these organisations and how important are they to their contemporary activities? This study day aims to explore these questions, providing reflections and case studies from academics, curators, artists and archivists.

Organised by ARLIS\UK & Ireland in partnership with The Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Art.  Supported by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

10.30-11.00 Coffee and registration

11.00-11.20 Welcome: ARLIS

Introduction to the morning session: Dr Dominic Paterson (Chair)

Dr Dominic Paterson works at the University of Glasgow where he teaches 20th and 21st century art and theory.  He wrote his doctoral thesis on the place of aesthetics in the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault, and his research interests include critical theory as well as modern and contemporary art.   Dominic organised and introduced a series of talks and film screening events as part of the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art , which expanded upon the Festival’s theme of ‘past, present, future’. Including artists Susan Phillipsz, Gerard Byrne and Jimmie Durham.

11.20-11.50 Stories from the archive: Dr Francis McKee

Francis McKee will examine the process of archiving both the Third Eye and CCA material in Glasgow which ranges from 1973 to the present. He will look in particular at the discovery and digitisation of 150 video tapes from the early 1970s and how they transform our understanding of that period in terms of Scottish and British video art history. Following on from this he will look at the wider understanding the archives give us of the development of contemporary UK art over the past 40 years and the genesis of the national and international networks that enabled this growth.

11.50-12.20 The artist’s voice : Ross Sinclair

Working in Glasgow and internationally as a practicing artist, Ross Sinclair has utilised sculpture, video, painting and text to interrogate how different formal approaches can contribute to the construction and dissemination of meaning and the paradigm of art practice in context in relation to audience. Sinclair is currently looking back on the development the dynamic and critically respected art scene in Glasgow over the past twenty five years through the methodology of interviews with his artist peers.  A selection of extracts with artists such as Martin Boyce, Susan Philipz and Douglas Gordon will be screened for the first time, alongside a reflection of Sinclair findings during his research.

“What lies at the heart of any situation, any scene, any place, any history, any geography, any relationship? How do we come to understand it? What elements have inexorably bound together to form it’s essential core and how can we begin to unravel it, dissect analyse and contextualise the meaning? Is this Miracle-ism to be seen in relation to what came before…and what happened after – and what is happening now, and what might develop in the future…?”

12.20-13.00 Keynote: Gerard Byrne, Case Study: Loch Ness (Some possibilities and problems)

Revisiting and reanimating historical moments to be considered in the present, Gerard Byrne’s work has been exhibited at Documenta 13, the 54th Venice Biennale, and in previous Sydney, Gwangju, Lyon, and Istanbul biennales. Recent solo exhibitions include Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 2013, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 2012, IMMA, Dublin, the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2011), and at the 2007 Venice Biennale, where he represented Ireland.  In 2006 he was a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn award. He is represented by the Lisson Gallery in London, Green on Red Gallery in Dublin, and Nordenhake Gallery, Stockholm. He has been a professor at the Royal Danish Academy for Fine Art since 2007.

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-14.10 Introduction to the afternoon session: Dr Julie Bacon (Chair)

Julie Louise Bacon’s research focuses on the relationship between: aesthetics and politics, art and philosophy, technology and consciousness, mythologies and archiving.  Julie Louise has curated wide-ranging events including: the art and network technology symposium SIGNAL (La Chambre Blanche, Quebec, 2012); the public art symposium The Clearing (London, 2010) ;the five-part AHRC conference and exhibition series Performing the Archive (sites throughout the UK, 2006-07), the Fix performance biennial (Catalyst Arts, Belfast, 2004), The Suicide of Objects (Catalyst Arts/The Ulster Museum, Belfast, 2004).

14.10-14.40 Archiving new media:  Beryl Graham

CRUMB is a resource for curators of new media art, and includes a web site and a discussion list with over 1300 international subscribers. How can such ‘crowd-sourced’ knowledge be digested and re-presented? Given that many art forms and archives are participatory, including new media systems, how might audience-generated archives reflect a future ‘history of exhibitions’? Beryl Graham is co-editor of CRUMB, co-author with Sarah Cook of the MIT book “Rethinking Curating”, and recently edited a book on “New Collecting” for Ashgate Press.

14.40-15.10 Documenting the visual arts in Ireland: Donna Romano

Donna Romano is Acting Librarian at the National College of Art & Design Ireland, which is home  to The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL), a public research resource dedicated to the documentation of 20th century and contemporary Irish visual art and design.  NIVAL collects, stores and makes accessible for research an unparalleled collection of documentation about Irish art in all media.  NIVAL’s collection policy includes Irish visual art from the whole island as well as Irish art abroad and non-Irish artists working in Ireland.   Information is acquired on artists, designers, galleries, arts organisations and institutions, critics and other related subjects.

15.10-15.40 Shared archives: Marysia Lewandowska

Marysia Lewandowska is a Polish born artist based in London since 1985 who, through her collaborative projects, has explored the public function of media archives, collections and exhibitions in an age characterized by relentless privatization. She has been collaborating with Neil Cummings 1995-2008. Research has played a central part in all her projects which include the book The Value of Things (Birkhauser/August 2000), Capital at Tate Modern (2001). Enthusiasm project has been shown at the CCA Warsaw, Whitechapel,London, Kunst Werke in Berlin and Tapies Foundation Barcelona in 2005-2006. The film Museum Futures: Distributed Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 2008, and Tender Museum at the Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, 2009. Intellectual Property was a subject of How Public is the Public Museum? Moderna Museet, Stockholm 2010.  Since 2003 she is a Professor of Art in the Public Realm at Konstfack in Stockholm.

15.40-16.10 Panel discussion (afternoon’s speakers including key note)

16.10       Drinks reception


When: 1 July 2013, 10am-4pm approx.


ARLIS members £75

ARLIS students £43

Non-ARLIS £90

Non-ARLIS student £53

Email the giving_up_the_archive_booking_form to or post to Lorraine Blackman, ARLIS Administrator, GSA Event, Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL.

Refreshments will be provided during the day: a drinks reception will be provided after the event, please indicate in your booking email if you do not wish to attend.

The Colour Reference Library

The Colour Reference Library (CRL) at the Royal College of Art is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of colour-related publications in the world. Containing well over a thousand books, together with pamphlets, swatches and journals, the library covers numerous aspects of the vast field of colour-based studies, encompassing art and science, theory and practice.

The collection’s many strengths include sections on colour and human psychology, the history of dyestuffs, and the 19th-century study of decorative ornament, with tangential subjects ranging from colour healing to camouflage. The greatest colour theorists, from Newton and Goethe to Chevreul and Albers, are well represented through their key works, alongside other significant, if lesser-known, figures such as Mary Gartside and Maxwell Armfield. The CRL also includes a wide selection of published colour systems and standards, ranging in subject from lead paint to the pigmentation of human skin. Despite its apparent focus on a single subject, the span and application of the collection is considerable: it is at once historical and contemporary, practical and theoretical, arcane and accessible.

RCA Special Collections is located on the top floor of the Library in the Common Room Block of the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2EU. Please e-mail or telephone +44 (0)20 7590 4234 to arrange a visit. See the Colour Reference Library website for more information.

Closer to home, GSA Library also holds lots of reference material relating to colour and colour theory in Special Collections. See the guide to the collection here. Glasgow even has its very own Colour Studies Group. See their website for more information.

Poster Art 150 – London Underground’s Greatest Designs

Brightest London, London Underground Poster, 1924

Brightest London, London Underground Poster, 1924

An exhibition entitled Poster Art 150 – London Underground’s Greatest Designs at London Transport Museum is currently showing off 150 advertising posters to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground. Each decade since the first commission in 1908 is represented and those on display have been specially selected from the Museum’s archive of over 3,300 Underground posters by an expert panel. Iconic posters, including the surrealist photographer Man Ray’s ‘Keeps London Going’ pair, as well a those by Edward McKnight Kauffer and Paul Nash, will feature alongside lesser-known gems.

We have our very own collection of transport posters, by Glasgow School of Art student John Hegarty.

NMC 570, Poster depicting Castle Campbell, Dollar. For the Scottish General Omnibus Company Ltd, by John Hegarty, c1927

NMC 570, Poster depicting Castle Campbell, Dollar. For the Scottish General Omnibus Company Ltd, by John Hegarty, c1927

NMC 572, Poster depicting the Wallace Monument, for the Scottish General Omnibus Company Ltd, by John Hegarty, c1927

NMC 572, Poster depicting the Wallace Monument, for the Scottish General Omnibus Company Ltd, by John Hegarty, c1927

NMC 571, Poster depicting Linlithgow Palace, for the Scottish General Omnibus Company Ltd, by John Hergarty, 1927

NMC 571, Poster depicting Linlithgow Palace, for the Scottish General Omnibus Company Ltd, by John Hergarty, 1927

And, though not represented in our own collection, some other GSA graduates also went on to design for transport companies, including Tom Gentleman and Tom Gilfillan.

Easter in the country, by Tom Gentleman, 1932

Easter in the country, by Tom Gentleman, 1932. Gentleman was a student at GSA from 1905 (aged just 13) until 1914.

Scotland: Its Highlands and Islands (off Staffa) by Tom Gilfillan, printed by John Horne for LMS

Scotland: Its Highlands and Islands (off Staffa) by Tom Gilfillan, printed by John Horne for LMS

Gilfillan was a student at the Art School on and off from 1915-1931 and went on to be a designer for Scottish Aviation. The Maclaurin Gallery is planning a forthcoming exhibition of Tom’s work – Imagined Skies: The Lost Murals of Tom Gilfillan runs from 18th August – 29th September later this year.

The London Underground exhibition runs until 1st October 2013. For more information about the exhibition please visit the event website.