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The Remote Archivist - Series 06

The Remote Archivist - Series 06

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Note: RA6 will be send out to our subscribers in March 2024.

This issue of The Remote Archivist, which nowadays appears erratically, is made by Mika Hayashi Ebbesen. Mika, also producing under the sonic pseudonym Mikatsiu, is a queer Norwegian-Japanese artist engaged in performing, composing, writing, editing, and sensing. They first encountered the archive during the exhibition Catching Up in the Archive in 2022. Their work as an editor in print publishing, and their commitment to the historiographic process of knowledge production, led them to return this year to delve further into the material traces of de Appel’s role in giving a platform to performance as an artistic genre.

Mika’s language-keen eye fell on the folders of correspondence between the staff of de Appel and Jana Haimsohn, a sound and movement artist from New York, who performed twice on invitation by de Appel. In 1976 she performed Ausdruckstanz in the Brouwersgracht warehouse, de Appel’s first location, and in 1979 she performed in the context of Holland Festival with musician Harry de Wit in Groningen.

Within introductory documents compiled by de Appel in 1979, Jana is quoted: ‘What I am interested in doing at this time are performances comprised of solo-work: movement/dance/gesture ...... and sound/vocal sound/singing/ rhythmic sounds, using foot stomping, finger clicking, percussive instruments, accompanying or playing with vocal sound or singing and combined movement/ sound work.’ The novel music that Jana performed, which would still be perceived by audiences as contemporary, conjured insufficient vocabulary from the press who often resorted to ethnographic comparisons and references to exotic descriptors such as ‘voodoo’.

The woordbeeld (word image) can find itself out of step in the archive, not fading as elegantly as the paper it resides on. What at first glance may look like a beautiful artifact can contain words that are no longer — can’t or shouldn’t be — used. Time passes through words, disappearing and reappearing with changes of meaning, and those non-feminist descriptors that scratch the eyeballs: how to taste a word, how to sing the blank lines, or better, shout with a few strike throughs, finding the beat of the recurring punctuation marks that form the dance, the ecstasy, the enchantment.

Mika researched the materials in the archive of both events, recomposed the1976 script and adopted the spatial layout of the building as it was articulated during the performance of Ausdruckstanz. In resonance with the few photographs of Jana Haimsohn’s historic performance, Mika creates their own score. Together with only an imagination of what Jana’s performance might have sounded like, the frequencies of the archive move into Mika’s now. A readable, moveable and screamable score.

Maker: Mika Hayashi Ebbesen
Archive material: Jana Haimsohn
Archivist: Nell Donkers
Designer: Bardhi Haliti
Printer: Drukkerij Raddraaier SSP
Publisher: de Appel

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The Remote Archivist, 2023
Series 06 ○ Issue 1 of 1

The Remote* Archivist is a recurring publication from the Archive of de Appel that can also be accessed while the reader is physically distant, or the archive is far away. The distance, and at the same time the fickle proximity of digital platforms is now translated into the tangibility of archivistic messages.

On one side of the paper, you will find a record from de Appel Archive; be it from years ago or just yesterday; after all, how fast does an event turn into an archival record? Referring to the leaflets of documentation that de Appel sent to its ‘followers’ in the 1970s, The Remote Archivist commemorates the joy of receiving printed matter in the mailbox. The Remote Archivist will keep you informed about what has taken place and what is yet to become history. On the opposite side of the paper, archive visitors are given space to cherish, celebrate and publish their findings. De Appel Archive is kept alive with a gentle touch, ample attention, and remains ready to be rediscovered, time and time again.

*absent, dreamy, far away, remote control, distant

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