Artists and Archives: A Pacific Standard Time Symposium

Symposium Date: November 12, 2011
The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California

In recent decades, artists have become increasingly interested in archives both as inspiration and as an artistic medium. Accumulating and sorting—the same impulses that drive the creation of an archive—feed the process of making assemblages and collages. Conceptual and performance art continue to blur the line between art and documentation. And more recently, many artists draw on the archive to revisit and reenact earlier works. This symposium considered how archives not only trace the creative process, but also become part of that process and even of the work itself.

A panel of artists and scholars explored the ways contemporary artists incorporate archives into their work. Invited speakers include artists George Herms, Suzanne Lacy, and Mario Garcia Torres, and scholar Sven Spieker.

Artists & Archives was presented in conjunction with Greetings from L.A.: Artists and Publics, 1950–1980—a Pacific Standard Time exhibition rooted in the archival holdings of Getty Research Institute's Special Collections.

This symposium was organized by the Getty Research Institute in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art.

Watch the archived webcast

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