LIFT - Past is Prologue:Creating Art from a Living Archive


Dialogues and presentations exploring the ways in which artists draw creative potential from archive material such as photographs, film, artifacts and oral histories.

Podcasts in this series

Living Archives of Performance

Siobhan Davies, Sarah Whatley

The presentation will focus on how the archive is a source for thinking about how artists engage with their own past/histories, to create new work. Sarah Whatley will draw examples from projects that have emerged in response to Siobhan Davies RePlay. These include the artists' response to the archive within the Digital Dance Archives project, and the way in which RePlay feeds into the educational context, thinking about how it has helped students develop skills in reflection, and prompted them to consider their own self-archiving practices as developed within the D-TRACES project.

Tue, 17 Sep 13 2

Speaking in Traces

Tim Etchells

Artist, writer and performance maker Tim Etchells reflects on, presents and reads from several works he has made in response to archives, including LIFT Living Archive, the National Portrait Gallery and his own personal archive as part of his LADA/ Tate Legacy: Thinker in Residence Project which led to the publication While You Are With Us Here Tonight. Etchells' work has often remixed archive material, creating juxtapositions, new narratives and multi-stranded dialogues between fragments that are not usually linked together.

Tue, 17 Sep 13 2

Neither Rummaging nor Fossicking

Richard Wentworth

In his presentation Richard Wentworth leads himself through a thicket of typologies, exploring the idea that the advent of literacy has led to the recording of hitherto unnoticed, forgotten details - notes taken, records kept, negatives developed, photographs printed, mail filed, ephemera pasted, stamps philatelised, emails clouded. Referencing his own work as an artist, he discusses the drive to create chaos through the collection of detritus and palimpsests, and connect this impetus with the corona of friendships, agencies and possessions which describe a modern western urban human.

Tue, 17 Sep 13 2

Dialogue not Monologue; working with the LIFT Living Archive

Sue Mayo

Since 2008 Sue has been developing, with others, ways to open up the LIFT archive, discovering why people who are not students or researchers might want to access an archive, and what they want to do with it when they have. In the early stages the groups with whom she worked became co-explorers, and they discovered a lot about the actions of engagement, plunging in, bouncing off, exploring and debating, all pathways to creating new work.

Tue, 17 Sep 13 2