Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM): “Leaky Archive”

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Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM): “Leaky Archive”

Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Media Art FundResearch

Duration: spring until november 2023

The Leaky Archive project investigates how colonial archives and collections can be further developed in post-colonial times. Based on the free / libre open source philosophy, the teams of the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum (RJM) and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM), in collaboration with local and international institutions, colleagues and the public, are creating a new kind of archive – lively, multi-perspective and polyphonic. As part of this archive project, digital fellowships will be launched that focus on the fundamental perspectives of online collaboration, knowledge exchange and decentralised infrastructure. The project does not aim to transfer analogue ideas into the digital space, but to digitally rethink the RJM’s collections, the consequences of their digitization, the possibilities of their mediation and their radical democratisation through the creation of guides. The fellowships are aimed at artists, activists, makers, experts or collectives from the Global South. In each round, four fellows spend three months researching their own idea. They provide insights into the results of their research in digital public tours and lecture performances.

How can colonial archives and collections be critically explored and reflected on using digital technologies? This question is addressed by a digital scholarship programme, which focuses, for example, on the question of how digitised collections can be communicated in a new way.

Click here for the digital Leaky Archive

The exhibition opening took place on September 6, 2023 at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne.

In this podcast episode, Sophie Emilie Beha talks to curator Agustina Andreoletti about the project.

Founded in 1901 in the southern part of Cologne, the museum was reopened in 2010 as the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Kulturen der Welt in a new building in the city center. Around 70,000 items from daily life and rituals and around 100,000 historical photographs from Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas are kept there. Based on this primarily historical collection, various perspectives on the shared cultural heritage are opened up, with diverse past, present and future levels of meaning.

The Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM) was founded in 1989 and opened in Cologne in 1990. Today, the KHM is a major part of the German art and film school landscape. It represents a project-oriented approach and specifically promotes the interdisciplinary examination of various artistic fields (including photography, fiction, documentary and experimental film, video and light art, camera and image design, experimental computer science, theory, aesthetics and the history of machines, the arts and media).

Credits: Photos Depot: © Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Photos Edit-a-thon: @ Dörthe Boxberg