Various days and times || Black Boxes is a performance which looks at the issues surrounding the digitization of private communication and the effects of that process on the development, documentation and archiving of new ideas and works of art. The results of the performance will become archival footage for both the DRHA Conference and the performer.

Venue: QA074, Queen Anne Court
Duration: various
Time: see bellow
Performance by Margherita Pevere

When: 

sun 31/8
17:00 – 17:45
19:00 – 19:45

mon 1/9
12:45 – 13:45
18:00 – 19: 15

tue 2/9
12:45 – 13:45
16:45 – 17:20

wed 3/9
13:00 – 13:45

Abstract

The performance Black boxes plays with the need to communicate with each other and thus leave traces of our own existence, traces that last possibly longer than our lives and so exist beyond our biological mortality. Today, this issue is related to the process of media digitization. How does media digitization affect our private correspondence? And what about epistolary exchange, which has often served as a means to develop new ideas and document research processes?

Postcards to the future

Black boxes is a site specific performance project developed for the DRHA 2014 Conference. It is the first action of a long-term project entitled Erinnerung an die Unendlichkeit (Memory of the eternity). The project involves producing a series of works on different media which will be sealed in boxes until an arbitrary date. The works will remain unseen until the box will be opened on the given date, assuming that the storage unit will still be readable by that time.

The performer is sitting at a desk, inviting the members of the public to engage in private communications with her using a range of objects available on a separate desk. Those objects are the artist’s contact, a Polaroid camera, letter paper and some notes. The visitors can write an email, shoot a Polaroid, send mobile phone messages and/or snapshots, write a letter or leave a note.

The artist replies to each message received. At the end of the performance, all the materials produced by the visitors and the artist are put in two boxes. Digital data are saved on a drive. Then, the boxes are sealed, thus becoming an archive of the thoughts and dialogues exchanged by the visitors and the performer during the conference.

One box remains to the DRHA Conference archive, the other one remains to the artist. Both boxes have an “expiring date” printed on them – a day in the far future. Would those ideas and dialogues still be readable in ten or fifteen years?