Desktop Archives at ALPHA NOVA Galerie Futura

Feb. 10-17, 2022

Archiving Presents

exhibition, symposium/round table, workshop

Tusia Dabrowska, Elisabeth Smolarz, Olia Sosnovskaya, Oraib Toukan

artistic direction by

Vanessa Gravenor




Above: Video documentation from a panel discussion “(Counter)archiving a Circulating Image”  with artist presentation by Oraib Toukan and Olia Sosnovskaya followed by a panel discussion moderated by Vanessa Gravenor
Feb. 10, 2022






Archiving Presents
Feb. 10-17, 2022


For its weeklong presentation at alpha nova & galerie futura, DESKTOP ARCHIVES meditates through a panel discussion, a workshop, and video installation on ARCHIVING PRESENTS amidst the new conditions brought on by the global health crisis. In a time where trauma is inscribed on the everyday and the digital has become synonymous with access, how do artists archive their presents while troubling the tools and reading against new archival grains?  The archival refers rather to informal, transient files in-formation and personal archives that destabilize the power contained in the official document. Instead, digital traces and intimate, touching images reach across the distance and isolation that are now paramount. Photographs and images of civil dissent circulate spirits of protests, reframing what it means to engage politically in times of heightened corporal vulnerability, illness, and injury.

Beginning with a soft opening on Thursday February 10th, we encounter the figure of the artist as archivist through personal archives with a video installation. Elisabeth Smolarz’s THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THINGS, still image, stereo sound (2014-ongoing) shows intimate photographic portraits of significant items that acted as transitional objects through the covid-19 crisis. Tusia Dabrowska’s a/v projects FIRST WORLD PASSPORTS  (2021) and MAGNETORECEPTION  (2021) reflect on diseased bodies and immobility through a filmed performance of the artists running through a deserted urban landscape on looped repeat.

On Thursday February 10th, a panel discussion “(Counter)archiving a Circulating Image”  took place with artist presentation by Oraib Toukan and Olia Sosnovskaya following a panel discussion moderated by Vanessa Gravenor. Toukan screened excerpts from her video essay When Things Occur (2016) that reflects on the image economy of photographs of gaza inhabitants after the 2014 Israeli attacks.  Zooming in to the molecular layer of the digital photographic image, this work deepens an understanding of viewing suffering “at a distance” as well as the capitalist consumptive economy of violence. Olia Sosnovskaya also presented her video Counterattack (2020) that edited citizen documentation of the protests surrounding the presidential election in Belarus in the fall of 2020. Sosnovskaya discussed her draw to remix these urgent images to Arkadiy Kots’s performance of Wladyslaw Szlengel’s poem on the Warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943, from a distance in the double exile between lockdowns. Both of these works uncover the tension between the digital and analogue in new archival forms.

We ended with a digital workshop on Thursday February 17th with artist Elisabeth Smolarz “How to listen to objects – a journey,” a discussion and workshop where the artist will instruct the participants in how to listen to objects by uncovering their residual traumas and stories with an eye towards pandemic experiences and feminist futures.



Below: Selected photo documentation from Archiving Presents










Archiving Presents would not  be possible without generous support from 




Desktop Archives is an online publishing initiative and event series that showcases webworks from 10 different artists. The project is DIY and works outside of institutional networks. Together, the platform documents and archives unrests from the pandemic and the asynchronous, unequivalent emergences.

The platform is a growing archive and will have two editions in
June and November 2021. It will be accompanied by a series of artist talks.

Dates: June 30th 2021-February 28th, 2022
Online | Warsaw | Berlin 

contact: Desktop.archives.platform@gmail.com
© desktoparchives