There are two parts to the anthology Arkive City, featuring two types of documents.

Part One presents a selection of edited transcripts from the Performing the Archive events. These include insights on artist-led culture, art projects at major historical institutions and the management of archives.

Part Two features 12 commissioned essays, in some cases visual essays, by curators, artists, and academics, as well as archive and library professionals. In compiling and editing these contributions the goal was to provide a wealth and range of case-studies, of historical, theoretical and practical information on archiving culture. It was also very important to include a range of material that would clearly demonstrate the relationship between politics and aesthetics.

Six themes were identified, as markers for what is at stake, and these correspond to the six coloured-coded categories in the website’s legend. These categories were not used to direct authors’ contributions, rather they highlight the areas that authors chose to address, and serve as a further indication of the orientation of this anthology. They emphasize the repercussions of archiving in culture in terms of : Taxonomies, Technology, Memory and Identities, Liberty and Surveillance, Markets and Resources, and Voids.

The two parts of the anthology combine to address specific issues – from funding, institutional contexts, and the impact of conflict or war, to philosophical and aesthetic aspects of reproduction and preservation – and their implications for the broader view of memory, the (re)appraisal of history, projected futures, and indeed life lived in the present

To view the contents page of Arkive City the anthology, click here.

The back cover of Arkive City summarises the publication as follows: “Arkive City invites the reader on a journey through Kilmainham Gaol and Museum, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Live Art Archives, to the Imperial War Museum, Arnolfini art centre and the Stasi Archive, to name but a few.

The context of this cityscape is one in which mass forms of (self) representation, dissemination, documenting and monitoring converge and influence the perception of information, knowledge, interaction, security, and indeed our imagining of time.

The contributors to Arkive City map out important questions and shifts in interest that have arisen from the changing role of archiving in culture, and its relationship with the arts, through their work: curating exhibitions in museums, (de)constructing (art) history, running library and government archives, initiating archives in arts organisations, and shaping individual practice.

Six themes underpin Arkive City, emphasizing the repercussions of archiving in terms of: Taxonomies, Technology, Memory and Identities, Liberty and Surveillance, Markets and Resources, and Voids.

This anthology offers a resource to all individuals and organisations interested in the relationship between aesthetics and politics, and the use of artistic and creative strategies to explore and influence the processes of history making and memory.”

To order Arkive City
Arkive City can currently be ordered through:

Arnolfini art centre bookshop. Tel (+44 from overseas) 0117 917 2304 Email

Interface, University of Ulster. Email

Publication details
Arkive City, Julie Bacon, Ed., Newcastle, England, and Belfast, Northern Ireland: Interface and Locus+ Archive, 2008 (216pp. 63 col. illus.)

Authors: Julie Bacon (& Editor), Anne Bean, Paul Clarke, Pat Cooke, Chris Dorsett, John Gray, Matthew Hearn, Stuart Howard, Justin McKeown, Kerstin Mey, Sarah Pierce, Julian Warren, Angela Weight, Victoria Worsley.

ISBN 978-1-899377-30-5

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