The Project





MAP – Media | Archive | Performance
Research on media, art and performance

E-Journal  ISSN 2191-0901



Recent works and exhibitions on the history of performance art have given new momentum to the concept of archives for the performing arts. As time passes and interest in art performances continues, the question of preserving materials and documents, traces and recordings, and their medial nature, becomes increasingly relevant. What can we base our continued knowledge of art, science and popular culture on today and in the future? This is one of the central questions we ask.

Another central issue is publication conventions in scientific communities, which allow for little exchange beyond specific expert circles or in formats which are not congruous with the printed word.

We propose fluidity, fluid access, as a basic prerequisite for a more open kind of knowledge acquisition which could link up the scattered potential of protagonists in different fields, and ask: How can we put the idea of fluid access into practice?



Media ~ Archive ~ Performance

The numerous ways in which these three fields are connected provide the thematic impetus for this project. The following points presuppose an open definition of the key words.

  • Performance implies all arts related to performing processes (including film, exhibitions etc.; not only performance art as a specific genre)
  • Performances + their archives – which traces, relicts and documents go down in history as media artefacts? Who chooses them and orders them? And how? How can they be made constantly re-accessible and readable?
  • Media + Performance implies not only the media formats in which performances are saved but also the consideration and use of media in performances and the performative aspects of art which make use of audio-visual storage media.
  • Archive, performative – the archive is no longer the permanent collection and classification of past evidence but is rewritten every time fluid access is gained. This includes updates in the form of re-enactments, exhibitions and a variety of artistic appropriations.
  • Archive media – what significance does the alteration and extension of artefacts, from written evidence to analogue and digital storage media, have for knowledge classification and access to archives?

These questions are the starting point… the project will proceed by investigating them, putting them into concrete terms and reformulating them. The merging and conflicting of scientific and artistic research and different forms of expression is paralleled by the possibilities presented by electronic publication. Reflecting on these possibilities as part of a fluid access is an express purpose of this project.

The results (and research) of the various collaborations will be published on our website as soon as possible so that they are available for use in productive exchange and networking.

In this sense, the current edition is a work in progress. It is first and foremost an electronic journal, conceived and programmed by a team of publishers and editors, and constructed with the help of the open source software Plone.


The Project team:
Barbara Büscher          (Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig, Dramaturgie)
Franz Anton Cramer    (Universität Hamburg / CSMC)
René Damm                (Admin/Editorial staff)


The project is supported by Maik Derstappen (Inqbus Hosting GbR).


Translation: Charlotte Kreutzmüller