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.
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. The research project is a collaboration between the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design and the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD – Genève).