The covid-19 pandemic has altered rhythms, patterns, and modes of being within everyday life, elaborating while challenging well-practiced modes of archiving and collecting. In a time where trauma is inscribed on the everyday, how do artists and researchers—engaged in modes of backward turning, historical gazing or making the invisible visible—archive their present? What new works, records, or methodological developments has this time prompted?

DESKTOP ARCHIVES is an online publishing initiative and series of artists talks that uses the internet as its first site to reach audiences. This platform is a living archive and launched its first issue in June 2021 (read curatorial text in Blok Magazine) and second issue in November. Since its launch, the platform has showcased responses and engaged with over 10 different artists, researchers, and thinkers around the following prompt: what are you archiving from this time and how has the pandemic changed your thinking about proximity, relationality, conversation, and the archival tools themselves. The works range from social commentary on civil unrest in Central Eastern Europe, surveillance systems, militarized vocabulary past and present, to commentaries on collective rituals created in isolation on the web.

In addition to the two issues, two online talks can be viewed on the Desktop Archives platform: “The Sacred and the Mundane: Archiving a Catastrophe” and “In Proximity to the Non-Human Animal.” The two talks were collaborations with Stroboskop project space in Warsaw. Forthcoming artist talks and presentations will be added to the archive of the platform as a growing repository. Please stay tuned for our event in Berlin in February and check back to the website for documentation.

-Vanessa Gravenor (curatorial vision)
-Tusia Dabrowska (platform creator)

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 

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