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Sven Spieker

Sven Spieker is Professor of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and editor of ARTmargins. His books include The Big Archive: Art from Bureaucracy (MIT Press).

Titles by This Author

Art From Bureaucracy

The typewriter, the card index, and the filing cabinet: these are technologies and modalities of the archive. To the bureaucrat, archives contain little more than garbage, paperwork no longer needed; to the historian, on the other hand, the archive’s content stands as a quasi-objective correlative of the “living” past.

Titles by This Editor

Edited by Sven Spieker

The effects and meanings of destruction are central to the work of many of our most influential artists. Since the early 1960s, artists have employed destruction to creative ends. Here destruction changes from a negative state or passive condition to a highly productive category. The destructive subversion of media imagery aims to release us from its controlling effects. The self-destructing artwork extinguishes art’s fixity as arrested form and ushers in the ephemeral and contingent "open work."