26 APRIL 2017 speaker at the seminar :Objects and Affects

Ethnographic collections are spaces for histories of relations, colonial relations, knowledges, desires, lifeworlds, materials, and techniques.

The ethnographic archive is a particular kind of historical reservoir: it is an anthropological and artistic legacy, but also a legacy of colonialism and its technologies of power, inextricably linked to systems of control. This seminar invites artists and academics to explore the relevance and potential of ethnographic archives – including objects, photographs, and sounds – for contemporary makers. What is the agency of objects in ethnographic collections, how do they bring us into action, into relations; how do they affect us? What complex histories and intentionalities do these objects embody? In our modern life it seems to be hard to experience enchantment. Thinking with Jane Bennett, who challenges this view, we question: how can objects be a source of enchantment? How can they inspire, captivate and disturb? What might be the relation between the creative imagination and the archive? And what are the ethical implications when artists activate and intervene in ethnographic archives?

RCMC has invited students of the Master in Artistic Research (KABK) to interpret our ethnographic collections in new ways and to create new works inspired by them. During this seminar their works will be presented, performed and discussed.


Confirmed speakers:

Prof. dr. Wayne Modest (head Research Center for Material Culture)

Vincent Vulsma (artist)

Sara Blokland (artist, curator, researcher)

Dr. Margaret Tali (researcher and curator)

Mirjam Linschooten (artist)

Moderator: Janice McNab (head of Department, Masters of Artistic Research KABK)


The seminar is part of a collaboration between The Royal Academy of Art and the RCMC.