Working the Archive

Georgia Holz
Fine Arts and Media Art, Site Specific Art
2022W, Vorlesung und Übungen (VU), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04353


Archives are places of knowledge and thus structures in which history(s) and memory are stored and preserved in the form of data and documents. Following a given system, they are mostly created and managed by (public) institutions, but we are all archivists of our personal data. Every form of collecting is at the same time characterized by mechanisms of exclusion. This "epistemic violence" is inscribed in archives and also reflects the history of collecting institutions.

This course is dedicated to the archive as an object of inquiry for artistic research and as a site of artistic intervention and transformation. It explores the following questions: Who owns archives, and who has access to the knowledge they contain? Who are the authors of the archives? How can gaps and voids be made visible? How can alternative narratives, fiction and speculation become part of archival practice? How can archives become feminist, queer, non-discriminatory and de-colonial? What can be the role of artists in dealing with archives?

We will work intensively with selected archives, such as those of the VBKÖ (Austrian Association of Women Artists) or the one of the University of Applied Arts. In addition, there will be lectures and workshops by invited artists.

Examination Modalities

Active and regular participation, presentation and discussion of relevant texts, development of a project proposal with one of the cooperating archives.


Department Site-specific Art, Paulusplatz 5, seminar space, 2nd floor

Key Words

Archive, Artisitc Research, Queering, Performing


12 October 2022, 13:00–15:00
18 October 2022, 18:00–21:00, "" (guest lecture: Critical Closeness: A Conversation on Archival Work Discourse and performance program in collaboration with the VBKÖ)
09 November 2022, 13:00–15:00
16 November 2022, 13:00–15:00
23 November 2022, 13:00–15:00
30 November 2022, 13:00–15:00
07 December 2022, 13:00–15:00
14 December 2022, 13:00–15:00
11 January 2023, 13:00–15:00
18 January 2023, 13:00–15:00
25 January 2023, 13:00–15:00
01 February 2023, 13:00–15:00

Course Enrolment

From 19 July 2022, 10:00 to 07 October 2022, 23:59
Via online registration

Fine Arts (2. Section): Artistic Practice in Technical Context: Free Electives out of Artistic Practice in Technical Context

Co-registration: not possible

Attending individual courses: not possible