Zero 2 Publication, Archiv der Avantgarden, Japanisches Palais, Dresden, 2019, Photo: Laura Fiorio © ZERO foundation, Düsseldorf


The Whole Life. An Archive Project

Collaborative research initiative


The collaborative research initiative, The Whole Life. An Archive Project, asks what roles the archive and its objects play in the major transformations of current times, and what this means in turn for the structure of the archive, its users, its technologies, and its forms of knowledge production.

In archives, historical and contemporary ways of seeing the world condense, collide and overlap. It is here that utopias and realities from different eras meet and shape the thinking, acting, and living in the present. In archives, knowledge sediments over time and becomes deeply inscribed in society. They are therefore, above all, places that perpetuate hegemonic patterns of thought and consolidate power relations. Thus archives are at the same time the foundation from which the search for recontextualizations and new frame narratives must begin, in order to reflect the profound transformations of the present in its polyphony – in archives and outside of them.

In the frame of The Whole Life. An Archive Project archives are read as networks of sociality with the potential to draw connections between interdisciplinary research, social practices, cultural life, and local infrastructures. How do they create and delete relations between commons and canons and which analytical tools for a critical reading of political and economic power structures arise from this?