Since grunt’s inception in 1984, there has been an active and concentrated effort of an extensive archive of materials, reflecting the depth of grunt’s programming and the important artists and exhibitions that grunt has supported and showcased. grunt’s physical archive consists of nearly 100 binders of slides, paper and digital material pertaining to our exhibitions, performances, and other activities.
In 2011, as part of the Activating the Archives (ATA) project, we launched an online database, developed by Main Social, which we continue to populate with archival materials. During the project we developed protocols around digitization of materials and we were able to get extensive archives online as part of the curated sites. This effort was motivated by our wish to preserve materials and create a digital back up of what exists in our archives and plan for storage and protection of our current physical material. More importantly, there’s an over-arching vision to increase public access and engagement to our archives through curated websites and a growing database.
Part of grunt’s 2012 Strategic Plan is an Archives Plan that moves forward our desire to develop deeper relationships with supporters, collaborators, and the community through a cohesive campaign to consolidate and provide our archives to the wider community.
An important part of our Archives is our Archival Committee at grunt that includes board members, archival experts, staff and volunteers. Through various projects we have developed a collegial relationship with other organizations including Western Front, VIVO and VTape (Toronto) around the development of archives in artist-run centres. These groups have very different philosophies and protocols around archives and discussion between us keeps all of us appraised of best practices throughout the centres, and of new development and technologies around digitization.
Our 15-year history developing digital technologies through websites, our media lab and social media puts us in an excellent position to capitalize on opportunities to reproduce, protect, and share material digitally. Effective means of communicating messages through our online channels and curated archive websites allow grunt to share exhibitions that contain historical value of our surrounding community and beyond. It also raises awareness about our cultural history and how this connects to present and future programming.
The contemporary art archived by grunt has a very particular aesthetic of openness and discourse around multiple communities. Digitizing our archival material creates a lasting impact on curators, artists, audiences, and educators in Vancouver and beyond, by allowing research and dialogue that will further disseminate their histories.
The physical grunt archives are located at grunt’s facility and are available to the public. They are a hard-copy record of exhibition photos, press releases, videos, promotional materials and other items relating to projects and programming. grunt’s archives are a valuable resource for grad students, art history students, community members or educators. For more information on current volunteer opportunities or to make a research appointment, please email email@example.com