Common Field Launches a New Project, Field Histories

FIELD HISTORIES tells stories behind the successful placement of art space archives in appropriate institutional contexts. We hope to encourage Common Field members to be aware of their archives’ value, and promote creative thinking in preservation of their own materials.

Common Field issued a statement on FIELD HISTORIES, their context and value in encouraging artist-centric spaces to ensure preservation of their archives:

“The critical value of archives to historians’ original research is well established. The value of some prominent experimental individual artists and groups is becoming clear: The archives of Allan Kaprow and Carolee Schneemann have been acquired by The Getty, as have the archives of Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT). Yet as artists began to blur the boundaries between disciplines after 1960, creating the “intermedia” forms of happenings, performance art, video and installation art, preservation of archival materials has become more challenging; and as the arts spaces themselves represented a rebellion against institutionalization, preservation of their own archives has often been a low priority…”

Read more on the Field Histories Context, a Statement by Common Field Board Member and Founding Director of Franklin Furnace, Martha Wilson.

For the first published essay of Field Histories, Common Field commissioned Seattle-based Anne Focke, who wrote GOODNIGHT AND/OR A WAKE, An Incomplete Story Of One Organization’s Archives, a piece about the archives of and/or, an artist space that operated in Seattle from 1974-1984.