During the last few months, carefully packed envelopes have appeared in letterboxes in the Netherlands and far beyond the border. The artistic and archival content of these envelopes quietly circulated on our website and social media, as we developed a new publication project by de Appel’s Archivist, Nell Donkers and her collaborators. Today we break through the mystery and are happy to introduce you to The Remote* Archivist.
The Remote Archivist is a recurring mailing from the Archive of de Appel that reaches you, even if you are absent or our archive is far away. Approximately every three months, tangible archival messages appear in subscribers' mailboxes.
One side of the message shows a document from de Appel's Archive. This could be from years ago or from yesterday - after all, how quickly does an event become archival material? On the other side, invited artists and researchers are given space to cherish, celebrate and publish their findings. The Archive is kept alive by tender touch, ample attention, and remains ready to be rediscovered, time and time again.
*absent, dreamy, far away, remote control, distant
Inspired by the “information sheets” with documentation of activities that de Appel sent to “followers” in the 1970s, this new project spreads the unique joy that comes with receiving printed matter in the letterbox. The Remote Archivist keeps you informed of the strange and wonderful process of making hi-stories – yesterday, today and at times projecting into the future. Each invited archivist or team of archivists devises and gives shape to several episodes of a numbered series of The Remote Archivist.
Made in de Appel’s Archive by Nell Donkers and designed by Bardhi Haliti, The Remote Archivist takes the form of an A2 poster, which is small when folded, placed in an envelope and perforated by hand before being sent to your address. It is easy to store in your personal archive, but it can also be unfolded to find a nice place on your wall. Every episode comes with a surprise print.
We warmly invite you to subscribe to The Remote Archivist via de Appel’s webshop. You will receive a new episode with a surprise print every three months for a year. For € 12 (including postage) you will receive four consecutive episodes, after which the subscription can be renewed for the following year.
The first episode of Series 02 is planned for June 2021.
About Series 01: To See the Inability to See
In the first series, Arefeh Riahi, Maartje Fliervoet and Martín La Roche Contreras hunted for stories and made a series of events coherent in the feuilleton Outdated Compass. The three artists have been regular visitors and thorough researchers in the Archive since de Appel moved to Broedplaats Lely. In 2017, during a collaboration with Martín La Roche Contreras and Maartje Fliervoet (Manifold Books), the term "Remote Archivist" came into being due to the archivist’s lack of time. Two years later, during Arefeh Riahi’s archival project Un/folding Interventions, the three makers met and formed To See the Inability to See. Together they delved deeper into de Appel’s Archive, connecting in their love for paper things – especially for the “aliens”; the pieces that don’t belong anywhere. Their own collections, memories, records and the meticulous determination leading to those lucky finds, culminated in Outdated Compass. Here, non-archivable and non-categorisable knowledge resonates in the now, but just a bit too late and out of time!
Archival documents in Series 01
Series 01 ○ 1 of 3
Willem de Rooij, Bouquet IX, 2012
interpreted by Gerda's Bloemen en Planten on June 18, 2020
Day for Night, June 23 – July 3, 2020
Series 01 ○ 2 of 3
Jürgen Klauke, Letter to Wies Smals from documentation folder Jürgen Klauke / Ulay Keine Möglichkeit 2 Platzwunden 1975
Series 01 ○ 3 of 3
Iman Issa, Tree? (for de Appel), 2021
Looking ahead and archiving the exhibition with/by Iman Issa which was postponed last year and will be rescheduled from 2022 when de Appel has found a new home
For a complete collection of The Remote Archivist, you can order the full Series 01, now available in our webshop.
This initial series was made in collaboration with Manifold Books, Amsterdam, with thanks to the AFK.
1062 HE Amsterdam