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Permanent migration of records and digital representations: decomposing the coloniality of fixed archival knowledge 
Flavia Caviezel (Basel Academy of Art and Design, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland)
Lucie Kolb (Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW)
Karolina Sobecka (FHNW)
Selena Savic (University of Amsterdam)
Bernhard Garnicnig (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
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Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

The panel explores how post-digital perspectives on digitization can contribute to the refusal and de-instituting of colonial relations in archival practice and institutional knowledge—by discussing the technology’s transformational requirement to recompose different ways of seeing and representing.

Long Abstract:

The panel aims to explore how post-digital perspectives on digitization can contribute to the refusal and de-instituting of colonial relations in archival practices and institutional knowledge. Digital preservation of knowledge depends on its permanent migration between systems of record keeping, media substrates and modes of representation. This infrastructural mutability creates openings for redressing the violence of certain ways of seeing. The term ‘decomposing the colonial gaze’ (Chérie Rivers Ndaliko) evokes such potential to disassemble the colonial worldview. Digital technologies are often portrayed as inherently able to do so with their promises of access, transparency and multiperspectivity.

We invite contributions that attend to such efforts, their challenges, successes, and failures in digital archives in public institutions and processes of knowledge production and organization. We are also interested in ways in which decomposing techniques can in turn inform development of tools, practices and protocols for digitization. We particularly welcome interdisciplinary approaches to archives, and contributions that incorporate critical archival practices, artistic in-outs, media theory and digital culture approaches, and that focus on the following topics

_Since the digital realm comes with its own mechanisms of exclusion and discrimination, how are those risks mitigated to make archives more inclusive and accessible?

_Tools that enable critical taxonomies and categorization

_The digital and the concepts of time and memory in relation to the promise of preservation

_What role can artistic approaches play in developing critical archival practices?

_How can we undo the binary reduction of colonial past as producing colonizers and the colonized, and pay attention to the in between realities of ‘contamination’ and people of mixed origin, having multiple worldviews?

_If preservation is achievable only through performance, practice, and permanent migration of records through different media, what institutional structures/interventions might be proposed to accomplish its sustainability?

Formats: Papers, artistic in-outs, workshops, dialogues, collective contributions

Accepted contributions: