In a collaboration between Ctrl+Z Publishing and Rakett, curators Åse Løvgren and Karolin Tampere commissioned this collection of essays as a part of their presentation of the Curating Degree Zero Archive in Bergen 2007. Contributions by Tone Hansen, Hjørdis Kurås, Power Ekroth, Hanne Mugaas and Steffen Håndlykken.
In the article On Formatting History Martin Beck states that archives are the key resource in producing history and that archives have been radically transformed by digital technology making private and customized digital archives a mass phenomenon. Just think of the iPod archive of music and other cultural products that you might have in your pocket right now. Beck continues to emphasize the importance of seeing history as product and production simultaneously. Martin Beck’s thoughts around history can be seen parallel to the Curating Degree Zero Archive. The archive maps an area of the practice of curators, artist-curators and curatorial collaborations. It is not a fixed canon, but an ever expanding archive taking new material in as it is presented in various places and by various people. From September 20th to October 7th 2007 Rakett are the hosts of the Curating Degree Zero Archive in Bergen. In presenting the archive we have focused on the knowledge producing potential in the archive, using a discursive approach to presenting it rather than an aesthetical or cataloging one. During the two weeks of presentation, we have invited artists, curators, musicians and other cultural producers, to give presentations on their work, highlighting the collaborative aspects in their practice. Our aim has been to produce discussion and talks around these issues. In this way we see the archive both as a product, the material shaping the archive, and also the archive as production; being the platform for new works, discussions and exchanges around the set of problematics implied within this archive. This fanzine is especially made for Curating Degree Zero Archive in Bergen, and will follow the archive on its journey, thus becoming a part of its product. The invited writers come from diverse backgrounds and have experiences from a wide range of projects in the cultural field. We asked them to take their own practice as a starting point, reflecting upon the borders of artistic and curatorial practice, and what might happen when these roles merge. Also we asked them how they relate to the archive as being a source of knowledge or of artistic practice. As Anke Bangma describes it; The Rakett projects often function as lively, temporary platforms for collaborative, often interdisciplinary production where they see the role of the initiator/curator to not only to create a framework and a stage but also to bring together different cultural producers to create a moment of potentiality. Implicitly and explicitly, their projects touch on a range of questions around (co)authorship, (im)material or ephemeral production, the role of artist and curator, and the potential of mobile and changeable platforms in the institutional infrastructure for art. Simply put the artist is occupied with the production and the curator works with these products. In re-enacting the archive and with other Rakett projects we have tried to see art as product and production simultaneously.