FI Symposium – Zoom meeting transcripts
Dal: I am not sure that students are able to ‘slow down’ in the way that we often. Their experience of the material world is so different from ours and it’s important to respect that difference. It’s one that leads to a range of emotional experiences all crossing over at the same time, but you are right, they may not revel in it as we might. My own experience with undergraduate students. They should perhaps be encouraged to linger on why they might ‘like’ something rather than being asked to slow down their intake of experiences. The evaluation of that engagement is where the learning is.
Dal: The space for exploration has largely all but vanished from the fashion industry so this is another reason that Jane and I have stepped out of it in some ways. Our instagram feeds (if we are mindful of who we follow and unfollow) are our very own Atlas of Memory – a stream of conscious and unconscious connections (often mediated by algorithms but that’s another issue!). As you say, ‘association’ is a method in itself for Archivist Addendum. The network we have collaborated with beyond this project come to the work with a shared attitude but a different set of references. We are collaboratively lost in this extraordinary world.
Dal: As I think I said during the talk, the fashion industry has struggled in the last year partly because of its irrelevance to the challenges humanity is facing. It has tried to become a space for moral, political and social debate and reform but I would question if this is appropriate. If Vogue mirrors what is in the news, then what function does it serve? I don’t think magazines/fashion images need to be aesthetically pleasing – we have too much of this already – they need to be aesthetically challenging.
Dal: Please follow @archivistaddendum on instagram
Jane: In order to put a garment on a living body I need to get my hands on it, quite literally, before it enters the rigid and complex red tape world of the museum where what was once worn and lived in becomes an object to be preserved. To be looked at but remain untouched by human skin. It is a constant dilemma.
Dal: the medium is the message too! Yes, McLuhan’s writing here on the media and its role in encouraging the ‘age of anxiety’ is very prescient. The medium for academic fashion research tends to be conferences (much like this one) or printed journals that are in themselves anti-design in their utilitarian look and feel. Jane and I are interested in presenting these incredible works (essays, drawings, other forms of writing) as one would see a glossy photoshoot in any bi-annual magazine. The fashion editorial is a crucial space for play and dream and fantasy, but it ought to be tethered to an intellectual reality. There is not enough of this. The medium is the moment.