Week 25: Dark Matter Archives & Imaginary Archive

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with artist and writer Gregory Sholette about his ongoing “Dark Matter Archives” project. As Sholette will be joining us from Wellington, New Zealand, where he is currently organizing his “Wellington Collaboratorium”, the conversation will also focus on the related “Imaginary Archive.”


Performative archiving is obviously a key component of many plausible artworlds but it has remained largely implicit in our weekly discussions until now. Though we have focused on practices with deliberately impaired coefficients of artistic visibility, this week we hope to explicitly tease out some of the paradoxes around the politics of that (in)visibility. The wonderfully and elusively titled “Dark Matter Archives” is dedicated precisely to those who resist visibility, as well as to those who are refused visibility by mainstream culture. In doing so, the Archives seek to provide knowledge, documents, and tools about the history and current practices of culture’s “missing mass.” Their goal is to reinforce whatever degree of autonomy marginalized artists, informal artists, and art collectives have wrested from the mainstream institutions of culture.

The “Wellington Collaboratorium” issues forth from the ambitious project, taking the notion of collaboration as a living, working material to be uncovered, explored, and put into motion. One of the collaboratorium’s outcomes is the Imaginary Archive, comprised of novels, brochures, catalogues, pamphlets, newsletters, and other material inserted into second-hand bookstores and other public places, seeking to present an alternative vision of the realities our society plausibly might inhabit, had the world been shaped differently. And perhaps more plausibly.