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The ArchiVolt Research Group comprises both research projects ‘about’ the arts as well as ‘into’ the arts, to allow for interesting cross-fertilization. ArchiVolt is short for research into ‘Archives and Avant-gardes’ and originates from the Theory Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

ArchiVolt aims to do more than just historical, archival research. Archive activation is a main objective of the group. ArchiVolt wants to be a think tank and a research platform for ideas, projects, presentations and publications around the notion of the archive and/as avant-garde. Not only do archives encourage reflection and discourse, they also stimulate action and creation. They are crucial for both the academic and the artistic practice. They constitute, as it were, a no man's land between the arts and sciences. Ethical and aesthetic elements meet in the archive.

What is preserved – and has the potential to become history – and what is not? What happens when artists and historians look at the same archive? Can they find a common ground? Can the artistic approach provide inspiration for new publication and presentation models? And, on the other hand, can an art historical approach inspire and inform artists?

Objectives of the ArchiVolt Research Group:

• Mapping the (postwar) avant-garde initiatives and their urban context in Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium

• Discover and provide access to (postwar) avant-garde archives in Belgium through research projects, exhibitions, publications and symposia

• Reflection and debate about the role of physical and digital archives in contemporary academic and artistic practice

• Consultancy services to the education sector, the public and the government with regard to archives of artists, writers, art collectives, galleries, periodicals and publishers

• Collaborating with artists who have an interest in archives

• Investigate the role of physical and digital archives in academic and artistic practice together with students of the Master in Visual Arts

Focus: Research into ‘Archives and Avant-gardes’.

Chairman: Johan Pas -

Research team: Johan Pas, Thomas Crombez, Hans Theys, Nico Dockx, Stefan Wouters, Sarah Bekaert, Stephan Peleman, a.o.