In our last research seminar before the Easter recess, Dr Sam Vale will explore overlooked narratives in the archives and the importance of collecting and preserving records.

Canterbury Christ Church University
School of Media Art and Design
Research Seminars 2018-2019

10 April 2019
4.15pm-5.30pm

Look Again:
The practice of responding to gaps within archival records

Speaker: Sam Vale, CCCU

Newton Building – Ng07
North Holmes Road Campus
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury
CT1 1QU

In this research seminar Sam Vale will discuss two practice-based projects that respond to the limitations of archives and how these gaps can be the starting point for creative practice. The first part will examine ideas that arise from the practice-based project Latent: A hidden history, which was produced to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act that began the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality and an advancement in human rights. The project re-imagines photographs taken from the South-East Archive of Seaside Photography (SEAS) and was developed to communicate and question the absence of gay male history within archival records. This is pertinent when examining the SEAS archive, as coastal towns are often understood to be democratic spaces that bring people together from varied social backgrounds, often transcending barriers and creating archives that are rich in material. Yet the gay male history is absent from the archival records due to legislation (and its related prejudice and fear).

In addition to describing the development and production of the project, the paper examines how artists can work with archival material to consider narratives and histories that might have been omitted or previously overlooked.  In examining these ideas, the paper aims to highlight the agency of the artist in reshaping histories, in order to expose important details and that are not initially apparent in archival material. While examining the interventions made by the artist, this paper considers how the final work is inadvertently affected by personal ideas of longing, that make a further comment on queer representation.

The second sections continues to explore the different limitations of archival records and how these can be the start of creating new research. Bringing into focus the importance of collecting and preserving archival records for future generations, this section considers the drivers for collecting material and preserving it. In exploring this, Sam Vale will also discuss his latest publication A Typology of British Cherry Blossom.

 

Sam Vale is an academic and internationally exhibited artist interested in the use of photography and its relationship to other media. Working with collections and archives, Vale aims to uncover narratives which might not be immediately apparent from the gathered objects, offering an alternate perspective to the collected material and the owners or curators that accrue it.

Vale is Programme Director of Photography at Canterbury Christ Church University, where he uses his research to inform his teaching practice that examines practice-based methodologies.

Newton Building – Ng07
North Holmes Road Campus
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury
CT1 1QU

 

Email Dr Andrew Butler – Andrew.Butler@canterbury.ac.uk – for further details
— All welcome —