The Critical Archive

CALL FOR PAPERS: Special Issue

The newest journal from the MIT Press, ARTMargins will foster awareness and conversation about contemporary art in an expanded field of practices. Within the fabric of a present moment characterized by different, and often incompatible, temporalities and agendas, ARTMargins wants to locate transnational commonalities and trajectories that connect, or divide, different regions of the world, bringing together artistic practices from (post-) transitional zones, while at the same time questioning the logic of transition itself: today the entire world is a margin in transition.

ARTMargins invites artists, curators, and critics who operate under the conditions of neo-liberal capitalism to critically reflect on what the editors call the “thickened global margin,” encompassing historical, geographical as well as philosophical or theoretical post-peripheries.

The current issue of ARTMargins (1:2-3) is a double issue devoted to Artists’ Networks in Eastern Europe and Latin America (guest editors: Klara Kemp-Welch and Cristina Freire). Additional content includes an article about 1970s media art in Argentina (Karen Benezra); a review essay by Aruna D’Souza about the conference project “In the Wake of the Global Turn”; translations from Dolfi Trost’s book Visible and Invisible; and an artist project by Aras Özgün. Issue 2:1 is scheduled for release in January 2013.

The special issue investigates the postwar archive as a material concept in the fields of artistic production, art historiography, curatorial practice, and criticism. We hope to interrogate the institutional, economic and political determinations of such practices as they continue to evolve in light, for example, of art market speculation, the selective celebration of new media in mainstream political discourse, or the changing role of memorialization in the public sphere. We are interested in power relations involved in archival practices and the ways in which critical archives navigate through or around the authority of the archive conceived as a repository of knowledge. In turn, we would like to ask what the relationship is between the archive traditionally understood as an authoritative institution and critical archival practices. To what extent, if any, does the archival turn in contemporary art challenge the archive’s ontological status? What questions does this artistic tendency pose, if any, to the political and theoretical stakes of historical evidence?

Submit proposals for articles to be included in the special issue by March 1, 2013 to

The special issue will be published in October 2013 (Issue 2:3).

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