Archives in Motion / Delegates across Borders

Friday, January 3, 2014: 8:50 AM
Maryland Suite A (Marriott Wardman Park)
E. G. Crichton, University of California, Santa Cruz
Migrating Archives is a visual and virtual project in which I create connections between communities and organizations around the world that preserve LGBT historical materials. To gain a glimpse into what these organizations do and collect, I invite participants to send images and information from two of their archives. These chosen archives emigrate from their geographical origins to become guest delegates in other places: so far the Openbare Bibliotheek in Amsterdam, Universidade de Évora in Portugal, the Vargas Museum in Manila, and currently the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco. In the role of Artist-in-Residence, I have been creating frameworks for interaction with the historical archives housed at the GLBT Historical Society since 2008.  Most of the time, archives sit safely on shelves, waiting for the occasional researcher. But as an artist, I can instigate a process in which the responses of participants form new kinds of archives, archives in motion, ones that widen our kinship networks and reflect the activism that LGBT collecting organizations have in common. For people whose traces are so often erased even by our biological families, omitted from official histories, or just plain lost, archives are a way of fostering our own lineage.