Since the mid 1990s there has been an active effort to compile a functional archive of materials that reflect the depth of grunt’s programming and the important artists and exhibitions that grunt has supported and showcased. grunt’s physical archive consists of over 100 binders and boxes of photographic, paper and video material that documents our exhibitions, performances, and other activities dating back to grunt’s inception in 1984.
In 2011, as part of the Activating the Archives (ATA) project, we launched an online database developed by Mainsocial, which we continue to populate with digitized archival material. This effort was motivated by our goal to both protect and animate materials by digitally diversifying our holdings as a means of increasing public access and engagement to our archives.
grunt’s 2012 Strategic Plan includes a formalized Archives Plan that prioritizes the archives as a part of our programming stream and works develop deeper relationships with supporters, collaborators, researchers, and volunteers. The Archives Plan also established an Archives Committee that includes board members, professional colleagues, and staff. Through various projects we have developed collegial relationships with other organizations including Western Front, VIVO and VTape (Toronto) around the development of archives in artist-run centres. These groups have different priorities, philosophies, and protocols around their archives and our discussion seeks to share awareness around best practices and technology, as well as foster collaborative efforts, such as Vancouver Independent Archives Week 2015.
The contemporary art archived by grunt has a very particular aesthetic of openness and invites discourse amoung 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 share their histories.
The physical grunt archives are available to the public and are a valuable resource for students, researchers, artists, educators, and community members. To make a research appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org