The Spirals virtual seminar series threw ideas of art, archive and the curatorial into flux by resituating them in a series of exchanges which took place between Cape Town and Berlin. Curated by the Junior Research Fellow, Dr Duane Jethro, with the generous assistance of Nina Liebenberg, the series circulated ideas about art practice and archival engagement of all kinds between these two lively, dynamic yet also very different global north and global south settings. We brought researchers, scholars, artists and curators based in Berlin into a conversation with our colleagues at the CCA and the University of Cape Town in a themed virtual format.

Casting our ideas about art and archive into virtual flux, our conversations surfaced points of alignment, divergence and patterns of circulation around shared topics. Among other urgent questions, the series sought to provoke discussion around the nature of archive, archival access and representation; the place of, and human emplacement in, theories of the non-human and nature; modes of engaging colonial legacies in archival formations; disciplines and disciplinary disobedience. Moving around, into and outwards of a crucial set of questions about archive and the curatorial, these conversations served as a hub for intellectually orbiting through respective fields from different vantage points, and, in the process, decentering knowledge exchange and building constellations for future collaboration. 

Our guest speakers were given 40 minutes to present some of their work while researchers and practitioners from the Center for Curating the Archive had 10 minutes to comment and raise questions. Thereafter we opened up for discussion and exchange. 

The series concluded in 2021. Access the recordings and round-ups of each session here below. 

This is an archive of the series. All information provided was valid at the time of the talk. Video recordings are available for each session. Just click on the link at the very bottom of each session’s description page.