The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict

Edited by Yann Chateigné, Markus Miessenau

Contributions by Stuart Bailey, Bassam El Baroni, Thomas Bayrle, Jeremy Beaudry, Beatrice Von Bismarck, Beatriz Colomina, Céline Condorelli, Mathieu Copeland, Joesph Grima, Nav Haq, Sandi Hilal, Nikolaus Hirsch, Thomas Jefferson, Christoph Keller, Alexander Kluge, Joachim Koester, Armin Linke, Julia Moritz, Rabih Mroué, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Seth Price, Walid Raad, Patricia Reed, David Reinfurt, Claire De Ribaupierre, Dexter Sinister, Eyal Weizman


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Exploring nontraditional archives, such as those of Harald Szeemann, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Sitterwerk, and the publishing house Merve, The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict offers new perspectives on archival practice, interrogating whether archives need spatial permanence, and, if so, which design framework should be applied for the archive to take on more than a singular form of existence.

Popular Culture, Theory / History / Criticism
What are the processes that enable archives to become productive? Conventional archives tend to be defined through the content-specific accumulation of material, which conforms to an existing order or narrative. They rarely transform their structure. In contrast to this model of archival practice and preservation, the conflictual archive has an open framework in which it actively transforms itself, allowing for the creation of new and surprising relationships. Illustrating how spaces of knowledge can be devised, developed, and designed, this archive reveals itself as a space in which documents and testimonies open up a stage for productive dispute and struggle.
The research project is a collaboration between the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design and the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD – Genève).

Yann Chateigné is a writer, curator, and professor at the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD–Genève).
Markus Miessen is a German architect and writer. Miessen received his bachelor's degree from the Glasgow School of Art, continuing his studies at the Architectural Association in London and at the London Consortium.


30 color, 270 b/w

730 pages, 300 illustrations
Paperback, 15x22 cm
Sternberg Press, 1st edition 2016
ISBN 9781934105863