The archive is often thought of as a forgotten repository of faded documents and dusty objects: it is an image of and from the past, a mundane picture whose identity is slowly transforming into a dynamic, digitally coloured notion of storage and memory. The archive, as an innovative concept, need not embody the past as such, but rather the promise of the past into the future. Its essence is to be found in the way it addresses yesterday’s potential, opening up to the unknown, the unexpected and unpredictable, and to a new future.

With that in mind Argos opens its doors and its archive with the project Open Archive #1. The extensive collections owned by Argos are revealed, ‘exposed’ and explored, with the aim of sparking off a multitude of associations and correlations, operating like a potentially interminable trace. From the thousands of carefully selected media works, books, catalogues, monographs and magazines numerous trajectories can be drawn, and diverse frames of reference for reflections on culture, art, media and society today can be formed. In this way the archive is used as a public space, which does not merely take stock of the past and classify it, but reinterprets and re-activates it as well.

Opening up the collections is an adventure in itself, a quest through audio-visual memory, and a re-evaluation of content. The numerous programmes, grouped into thematic sections or especially curated, which are presented during Open Archive #1, also present multiple perspectives on the ever-expanding audio-visual artscape. A vibrant and extensive programme of interrelated side events - lectures, concerts, performances, screenings, symposia, artists’ presentations – is designed to augment the project, all of which relate to key issues in audiovisual culture, film, video, the archive, media and memory.


  • We 03.10.2007 20:30
    Orla Barry The Bastardstown Blogge

  • We 31.10.2007 20:30
    Hans op de Beeck Drifting

  • Sa 27.10.2007 20:30
    Steve Reinke Final Thoughts, series on

  • We 07.11.2007 20:30
    Peter Dowsbrough AS/OUTSIDE

Video Vortex: Responses to YouTube
Fri 05.10.2007 11:00 - 19:00

Co-production with Institute of Network Cultures (INC )

Over the past years the moving image has claimed an increasingly prominent place on the internet. Thanks to a wide range of technologies and web applications it has become possible, not only to record and distribute video, but to edit and remix it on-line as well. With this world of possibilities within reach of a multitude of social actors, the potential of video as a personal means of expression has arrived at a totally new dimension. How is this potential being used? How do artists and activists react to the popularity of YouTube and other ‘user-generated-content’ websites? What is the impact of the availability of massive on-line images and sound databases on aesthetics and narrativity? How is Cinema, as an art form and experience, influenced by the development of widely spreading internet practices? What does YouTube tell us about the state of art in visual culture? And how does the participation culture of video-sharing and vlogging reach some degree of autonomy and diversity, escaping the laws of the mass media and the strong grip of media conglomerates?

This Video Vortex conference is the first in a series of international events, aimed at critical research and reflection surrounding the production and distribution of on-line video content, at the instigation of the Institute of Network Cultures (INC).

Speakers: Lev Manovich, Nora Barry, Keith Sanborn, Tomas Rawlings & Ana Kronschnabl, Simon Ruschmeyer, Peter Westenberg, Peter Horvath, Johan Grimonprez, Adrian Miles.
Moderated by Geert Lovink (Institute of Network Cultures)

Media, Memory and the Archive
Sa 06.10.2007 11:00 - 19:00

Co-production with Packed

How will generations after us look back on artistic production of the 20th and 21st centuries? Media formats, operating systems, software and hardware, browsers and the internet as we know it today will have evolved beyond recognition, both in shape and in use. What strategies might be used to transpose technology-based works, variable, hybrid and ephemeral by nature, to an unknown and unpredictable future? How can intent, context and experience be recorded and permanently interpreted? The archiving process does not merely represent an attempt to preserve some notions, it also implicates that others will be forgotten. What is relevant for preservation? The technical structure of the archive determines the structure of the archivable content even in its very coming into existence and in its relationship to the future. The archivization produces as much as it records the event. What is the impact of used models, technical structures and tools on the construction of cultural memory? How does information travel through time, now that the world is being (re)presented and organised more and more as a database, dynamic and networked? How will museums and other memory institutions cope with these new paradigms and what is the role media artists and we ourselves might have in the structuring of public memory?

Speakers: Richard Rinehart, Steve Dietz, Josephine Bosma, Oliver Grau, Charlie Gere, Wolfgang Ernst, Jean-François Blanchette
Moderated by Marleen Wynants (CROSSTALKS, Vrije Universiteit Brussel - VUB)

Cinema in Transit

What does ‘Cinema’ mean today? In the aftermath of its one hundredth birthday the cinema regime seems to be expanding further and further, split up over countless media and modalities, based on wide-ranging technologies and motives. Now that the analogue image is being quickly replaced by the digital one, beyond the materiality of video and film, more is being produced and distributed than ever before, but at the same time the way we watch, listen and experience cinema is being severely fragmented and individualized. Cinema no longer holds a specific place of its own; it is everywhere, intertwined with and integrated into other cultural forms. Within that context we today witness a significant renewal in the ways of approaching cinema and the audiovisual arts, not only in the work of a great number of artists, but also on an institutional level. The familiar opposition between the ‘black box’ and the ‘white cube’, between cinema culture and museum culture, can no longer be sustained, and the call for new models resounds more and more. What kind of shifts in meaning do these evolutions and contaminations entail in the way we look at and reflect on art and film? Do visual arts provide filmmakers with a free zone, where they can finally fulfil their most radical promises, or is it more like a transit zone, an intermediate stage in the re-thinking of the cinema project?

  • Fri 12.10.2007 20:30: Philippe-Alain Michaud

  • Fri 19.10.2007 20:30: Mark Nash

  • Fri 26.10.2007 20:30: Laura Mulvey

  • Fri 02.11.2007 20:30: Peter Weibel

  • Fri 09.11.2007 20:30: Jean-Christophe Royoux


Over the past decades a new sound culture has developed. A rich culture of musicians, composers and listeners has emerged who apply themselves to the research of sound matter, recording and transmission, and particularly to the act and experience of listening itself. This culture gradually is superseding the predominance of the visual within art history and theory, is becoming more aware of its traditions, relevance and potential as a cultural signifier. The proliferation of ‘sound art’ as a legitimate field within contemporary art and the cultivation of such innovators as John Cage and Pierre Schaeffer to an almost mythical status are but the tip of the iceberg. Ultimately technological evolutions have set off a democratization of sound, liberated from both the rigidity of Western harmonic system and the popular music’s market -oriented thinking, throwing us back upon our own ears. These previously unknown forms of aural literacy, performance and memory have induced new affinities and alliances, beyond traditions and genres, beyond the distinction between original and copy, music and noise, amateur and professional, high and low culture. These practices are not bound by aesthetic or conceptual questions, but rather by a tendency to destabilize the norm and to challenge ruling ideas about sound and music, hearing and seeing, absence and presence. Ways of Hearing navigates, through numerous performances and lectures, through this whimsical landscape of sound.

  • Thu 04.10.2007 20:30
    CONCERT Charles Curtis plays Eliane Radigue / Lucio Capece + MikaVainio

    Co-production with QO-2

  • Thu 17.10.2007 20:30
    LECTURE David Toop: Ways of Hearing, Resisting the Visual

  • Thu 18.10.2007 20:30
    CONCERT Asmus Tiechens + Thomas Köner, John Duncan, CM vonHausswolff
    Co-production with Metaphon

  • Thu 25.10.2007 20:30
    CONCERT Tetuzi Akiyama + Jozef van Wissem / Mattin + Junko + Michel Henritzi
    Co-productionwith (K-RAA-K)3


Co-production with BOZAR Cinema

Cinema: illusion or reality? As spectators we are constantly torn between distance and proximity, between criticism and fascination; we are always aware of the spectacle, but at the same time we are eager to believe, to be caught unaware by the simulacrum. We thoroughly enjoy getting carried away in a linear flow of images and sounds, pushed forward by narrative conventions. At the same time, countless filmmakers investigate lines of fracture in the cinematic experience, the negative surroundings where cinematographic codes and conditions can be deconstructed, manipulated and rebuilt at wish. Cinema is being reinvented, liberated from the surface of the screen, the borders of the frame, cinematic time and space, the illusion of movement, beyond the borders of enchantment and meaning. The spectator is pushed out of his role as a passive image consumer, and is urged to define his/her own aesthetic experience. In their performances, films and videos Ken Jacobs and Tony Conrad, each in their own way, undermine the cinematic experience , in a quest for the interaction between stasis and movement, light and texture, time and duration. The result stands up to psychological interpretation, but also generates a purely sensory response, a hard confrontation with the essence of cinema.

  • Tony Conrad
    Sa 13.10.2007 20:30 PERFORMANCE Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain (Tony Conrad + guestmusicians) (venue: Bozar)
    Su 14.10.2007 18:00 A Sunday Afternoon with Tony Conrad

  • Ken Jacobs
    Sa 20.10.2007 14:00 Presentation/ Screening Star Spangled To Death
    Su 21.10.2007 20:30 PERFORMANCE Nervous Magic Lantern with a live soundtrack by Aki Onda (venue:Bozar)

perspectives on production, distribution and preservation of media based arts

  • Tue 16.10.2007 WORKSHOP with Alain Decopas (Daniel Langlois, DOCAM), Agathe Jarczyk (Videocompany), Christoph Blas e(ZKM)

  • We 24.10.2007 20:30 Johan Grimonprez presentation Restored work

  • Thu 01.11.2007 20:30 presentation Auguste Orts, with Benjamin Cook (LUX)

  • Tue 06.11.2007 20:30 Key Note lecture Kevin E. Consey ( Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive)


Orla Barry, The Bastardstown Blogger  
  • Sat 29.9.2007 - Sat 10.11.2007
  • Practical info