Von: 22. Sep, 2021 12:00
Bis: 29. Sep, 2021
The Archive as Living Practice: The Post-Archive Cooperative – Memory Keepers

# living together


The artistic research workshop led by Arnold Dreyblatt referred to two visionary utopian educational projects of the 20th century: the legendary Black Mountain College and Beuys' unrealised Free International University.




The artistic research workshop referred to two visionary utopian educational projects of the 20th century: the legendary Black Mountain College (1933–1957, North Carolina, USA) and the unrealised Free International University proposed by Josef Beuys with colleagues in Düsseldorf (1973–1978). These two historical projects – one realised and one propositional – provided a reference for internal and public discussion, installation and performance. We investigated and reflected on the legacy of these two contrasting projects in an active encounter between artist, audience and archive. Reference material included extensive archival materials on Black Mountain College as well as the unpublished minutes of the Free International University meetings.



The poster campaign »Protocols of the Future« by media artist Arnold Dreyblatt marked the launch of »The Archive as Artistic Practice«. 600 unique posters, 320 of which were displayed in the Düsseldorf cityscape from July 12, refered to Joseph Beuys’ Free International University (FIU.). The unique posters featured quotations drawn from FIU protocols (1973–1978) and the »Manifesto for the founding of a Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research«. The posters were originally installed in another format as part of his project »Protocols of the Future« at the Kunstmuseum Bern in 2018.

Design: Dirk Lebahn, Coordination: Team »beuys 2021«.



The workshop began with a presentation of available archive materials and former exemplary projects. We initiated a discussion about archival research in the arts and the possibilities for active public interaction with archival texts.

The group selected the outdoor raised technical area behind the tribune as the central site of activities and as the setting for archival storage. This area was both visible and easily accessible for all the Live-In Lab participants. Portable Audio Amplification Systems and an analog vocal horn were made available for public discourse and were utilized by other workshop groups as well.

The participants set up an archival installation and began further discussion about individual and group projects. The group redefined itself as the »Post Archive Cooperative« with the goal of »archiving« the activities of the Live-In Lab and thereby involving all other workshop groups. The members of the STEALTH.unlimited created a sign for us with the text; »Memory Keepers« which hung next to our »Post Archive Cooperative« sign in the front of our workshop space. We began to devise strategies for creating a dialog with the various groups and began the collection of artifacts, paper and media materials in documenting the ongoing process of Live-In Lab. At the daily morning group meetings we announced our intentions.

Members of the »collective« Maik Olhoff and Franziska Kocks created a »Mobile Interview Station« on wheels both to interview participants and the general public and to »broadcast« to the public space at the same time. The group implemented a simple mail-box system transport system in which a container was filled below in the active public space with donations and then would be pulled up by strings for inclusion in our archive. A bulletin board installation was also fitted with a box for material archival donations was place in different locations as an invitation to other workshops to participate by Arielle Lawson. Josselyn Moreira created a performance in the STEALTH.unlimited group space (parking garage) titled »Silent Dinner« based on a quote from John Andrew Rice, founder of Black Mountain College: »There are moments that call for poetry, or complete silence.«

For the final day, we opened our archive contents to the public as an archival installation which summarized our activities over the week residency. This included the Black Mountain Archive boxes brought from Berlin, as well an installation of textual materials, photos and filmed activities.

Workshop Participants: Maik Ollhoff, Arielle Lawson, Franziska Kocks, Josselyn Moreira, Francesca Turi, Roxane Schultz



During the workshop Dreyblatt staged a public re-enactment of the historical F.I.U. meetings: 1973–1978 on the Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz on September 28, 2021. The performance was based on the founding protocols of the »Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research« initiated by Joseph Beuys, Klaus Staeck, and Heinrich Böll. The spirit of the F.I.U. was taken up and continued by various individuals and groups. As an alternative to the existing art academies, however, it was never fully implemented. The original performance took place at the Kunstmuseum Bern in the exhibition »Republique Géniale« in 2018.

Participating Readers / Performers: Arnold, Dreyblatt, Thomas Fechner-Smarzly, Martin Kaltwasser, Ludger Schwarte, Jutta Pöstges, Pia Witzmann, Jan Rohwedder, Andrea Hofmann


Tomma Suki Hinrichsen and Dominik Dober, Memory Keepers-Sign, Foto: Arnold Dreyblatt

Maik Ollhoff and Franziska Kocks created a »Mobile Interview Station«, Photo: Arnold Dreyblatt

The workshop participants in the Active Space »Post Archive Cooperative«, Photo: Arnold Dreyblatt

Mobile Archive Interactive Wall for use by all participants.

Performance »Protocols of the Future« mit Arnold Dreyblatt, Thomas Fechner-Smarzly, Pia Witzmann,  Martin Kaltwasser, Jan Rohwedder, Jutta Pöstges, Andrea Hofmann, Ludger Schwarte (v.l.n.r.)

Closeup View of Final Archive Installation, »Post Archive Cooperative«

Closeup View of Final Archive Installation, »Post Archive Cooperative«

Closeup View of Final Archive Installation, »Post Archive Cooperative«

Closeup View of Final Archive Installation, »Post Archive Cooperative«

Closeup View of Final Archive Installation, »Post Archive Cooperative«

Closeup View of Final Archive Installation, »Post Archive Cooperative«

Post-Its with key questions for the Workshops

Postcards document the concerns of the different workshop groups.

Archival materials of all kinds were collected in the mailbox.

To Do notes – there was a lot to do.

Postcard from the archive

Planning sketches for logo and »Mobile Interview Station«

Announcement of the »Silent Dinner« by Josselyn Moreira

distance-l8 - 1920
distance-l7 - 1602
distance-l6 - 1568
distance-l5 - 1440
distance-l4 - 1325
distance-l3 - 1164
distance-l2 - 1080
distance-l1 - 1024
distance-s1 - 799
distance-s2 - 720
distance-s3 - 640
distance-s4 - 414
distance-s5 - 320