Exhibition 51 – The Aimless Archive

During 2022 The Aimless Archive visited HU3 in Hull asking Where are the things we love being kept? Are they at risk? What systems do we put in place in order to keep these things safe? An archive was built. These ‘Stories of Storage’ are what form the basis of the current exhibition, which also invites views to take a cassette or alternatively listen HERE
The Aimless Archive says: It was in Left Bank Books, Pike Place Market, Seattle that I first picked up an audio zine at the end of 2022 – it was in the form of a cassette tape. My repeated Wednesday visits to the HU3 postcode in Hull had petered out a month or two earlier and I was thinking about how all that work – the archive I built – could be displayed.
On the same trip to the US, I visited the grave of Raymond Carver – known best for his short stories. At the grave there is a metal box beneath a bench with a blue notebook inside – for visitors – fans – to leave a message. The audio zines could be stored in a metal box at the foot of the board.
I slept well in a log-cabin at the foot of Mount Rainer and dreamt Pacific-wide – big sky dreams. The West Coast – right across to the port city in the East of England. Thinking about that as one frightening land mass – the land of the free.
But a Carver short story – ‘Why Don’t You Dance?’ – also shuffles into my psyche. A man living amongst his possessions spread out on the front yard of an empty house. As if it were a yard sale. Is the man getting rid of it all?  Declaring freedom from clutter.
A couple of months after I got back from Seattle – I read about the San Francisco Tape Music Center – then about the composer Steve Reich and his tape-loops and phasing patterns. Two tape machines run at fractionally different speeds – a repeating sound falls out of sync – ‘phasing’ – if it runs for long enough then it falls back into sync – catching itself back up.  Something within this speaks to the Stories Of Storage project.

The Aimless Archive is an art project, working across text, conversation, performance and collecting. It uses archival processes to question what we keep and what we get rid of. This approach might include a slowing down to see, the catching of overheard conversations, a process of cataloguing finds. Work often takes the form of a book – a box – a by-product.

theaimlessarchive.com and @the.aimless.archive