Chicago Archives + Artists Festival – May 19-21

April 7, 2017 · Archives, Chicago Archives + Artists Festival, Chicago Archives + Artists Project, Featured, Happenings, News, On Archives, Sixty Offline

A three-day festival of all things archiving and community autonomy in documentation, storytelling, and arts writing.

May 19, 2017 | 6pm – 8:30pm (Archive Lovers Night + Screening w/ On The Real Film and Media Burn)
May 20 – 21, 2017
 | 11am – 3pm (All-Day Panels + Projects)
Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.)
*See below for full festival schedule

– RSVP On Facebook
– Volunteer at CA+AF and/or join our Community Archiving Training w/ Read/Write (May 13)

– What To Bring

As part of a residency with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Sixty Inches From Center presents a three-day festival around all things archiving as well as education and community autonomy in documentation. Artists, collectors, curators, gallery and project space heads, archivists, librarians, and all other lovers of ephemera, storytelling, and documentation are invited to discover or share their experience with the endless ways that anyone can learn from and contribute to Chicago’s various cultural histories and the repositories that hold them.

The kick-off on May 19th is a celebration of archive lovers, a film screening, and an accompanying discussion around the changing technologies of preservation. The evening will feature From Celluloid to the Pixel: Exploring Relationships between Documentation, Technology and Time, a new collaborative work between Media Burn and On the Real Film and a panel discussion that explores the ways that the shift from film to video to digital media has influenced documentation from the personal to the political over the last 50 years.

The weekend will feature installations by local archives, DIY archiving stations for artist file building, tutorials on free open-source tools, a workshop on getting your artist affairs in order for emergency purposes, and a roll call that highlights archives, special collections, and libraries that have holdings specifically relevant to the communities often omitted from dominant cultural and historical narratives.

Throughout the weekend, we will be conducting public interviews and file building sessions with key contributors to Chicago’s art and culture. List of artists to be released in the weeks leading up to the event.


—–DAY 1—–
Archive Lovers Night and Screening with
Media Burn + On The Real Film

Fri, May 19, 6-8pm

The opening night of the Chicago Archives + Artists Festival is a celebration of archive lovers, a film screening, and discussion around the changing technologies of preservation. The evening will feature ‘From Celluloid to the Pixel: Exploring Relationships between Documentation, Technology and Time,’ a collaborative work and conversation between Media Burn and On the Real Film and a panel discussion that explores the ways that the shift from film to video to digital media has influenced documentation from the personal to the political over the last 50 years.

—–DAY 2+3—–
Discussions + DIY Archiving
Sat + Sun, May 20-21, 11am – 3pm each day

The second and third days of the festival feature a series of dialogues and conversations around archiving, useful knowledge and resources, and questions that surround archival process.

May 20, 2017 | 11am – 3pm

11am – 12pm | Your Life Online: Resources for Digital Security and Preservation for Artists/Activists w/ Lucy Parsons Lab + Sixty Inches From Center
This info session will provide some basic steps that artists/activists can use to start thinking about their online presence both in terms of reducing risks and preserving digital legacies, complete with recommendations for basic tools and strategies. The Lucy Parsons Labs is a Chicago-based collaboration between data scientists, transparency activists, and technologists focusing on the intersection of digital rights and on-the-streets issues.

12pm – 12:50pm | Roundtable: Challenges and Best Practices for Archiving and Documenting Time-Based Work  w/ Jenai Cutcher West (Executive Director, Chicago Dance History Project)
During this roundtable Sixty and the Chicago Dance History Project will hold a discussion about the best practices and biggest challenges for documenting and archiving time-based work, including sound, dance, theater, and performance. We invite artists, filmmakers, and anyone else curious about or making strides in these topics to join us.

1pm – 3pm | Your Life On File: Getting Your Life + Art Organized For Emergency Purposes w/ Michael Aguhar (Executive Director, Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights & Empowerment (AFIRE)) and Lam Nguyen Ho (Executive Director, Community Activism Law Alliance (CALA))
In the case of an emergency or when you are not around to make decisions, what will happen to your artistic legacy? Who will take care of your studio, handle your online presence, take over your storage space full of artwork, or decide what museums or galleries can exhibit your work? What do you need in place in order for these things to happen smoothly? During this workshop, lawyers and immigration activists Michael Aguhar and Lam Nguyen Ho will offer tips, resources, and important steps to start now when getting your affairs in order and planning for the future management of your practice as well as general and personal affairs, and what could be accomplished through guardianship and power of attorney.

1pm – 3pm | Tour the Chicago Artist Files at Harold Washington Library w/ Victoria Sky, Librarian
If you’re curious about where all of the festival ephemera will go, you can find out. Take a tour of the Chicago Artist Files with librarian Victoria Sky, who also serves as caretaker of the archives.

*Note: This tour takes place just a few blocks away from the festival at Harold Washington Library on the 8th Floor, 400 S State Street.

May 21, 2017 | 11am – 3pm

11am – 12pm | Archive Roll Call: A Rapid-Fire Resource Session
The archive roll call will go down the list of local and regional repositories, and resources specifically welcoming to the histories and cultures of people of color, and along the spectrum of race, gender, nationality and ability. This session is good for artists interested in discovering where their histories could potentially be kept and writers/researchers interested in discovering new physical and digital tools that support their work.

1pm – 3pm | That Belongs In A Museum!, Festival Edition
That Belongs in a Museum is a show-and-tell storytelling event that invites participants to bring an object,  share its story, and suggest a real or imagined museum that the object might belong in–in five minutes or less. For a twist, this festival edition will also include some stories about unexpected objects that actually do reside in a museum or special collection. Audience participation is welcomed and encouraged–bring any object that has a story to tell, and extra points if you have something related to artists or archives.


Our growing list of partners include the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Candor Arts, Dominican University, That Belongs In A Museum, Read/Write Library, Harold Washington Library’s Chicago Artists Archives, LATITUDE, Media Burn, On The Real Film, Stockyard Institute, and The Visualist.

Learn the basics of Sixty’s archiving work and what it takes to create your own artist file:

Featured Image: Taken from the article American Mangaka by Zachary Johnson.