Author Archives: valerie_swain

Valerie Swain is a Canadian artist. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a major in New Media from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, in 2002. In 2004, following two years of studies at Hogeschool Sint Lukas in Brussels, Belgium, Valerie received the Transmedia Postgraduate diploma with jury mention. In 2005 she co-founded the online production and diffusion platform centre nautique with her partner Arnaud Dejeammes. Valerie currently lives in France.

The Archiving Open House

The Archiving Open House (2004) is a prototype venue for archiving the physical traces from the Digitales Meeting Days by way of encounters between people (a process which I refer to as a play of archiving). The physical archives of the Digitales Meeting Days include minidisks, audiocassette tapes, CD’s, miniDV tapes, VHS tapes, floppy disks, […]

How to make a text for a publication:

1. Find out what the topic of the publication is. I was asked by Constant to make a text following the seminar the Lining of Forgetting for a publication about VJ7. 2. Choose the material that you would like to work with. I decided to work with the discussion recorded on the second day of […]

How to do interviews:

1. Ask people in advance. I asked De Geuzen, Anja Westerfrölke, and Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas before they arrived in Brussels if they would agree to have a recorded discussion with me about archives. 2. Write your questions. Make them about what you want to know. Don’t make them too complicated because they might be […]

How to be a respondent:

1. Do a little research. I was asked by Constant to be a respondent for the Lining of Forgetting, a two-day seminar about archiving that was organised as part of VJ7. This meant that I was supposed to lead a discussion with the invited guests. So the first thing I did was to find out […]

How to use a webblog as part of your research process:

How to use a webblog as part of your research process: 1. Find a webblog space and software. I used MovableType software, because this is what they use at Constant and it was Constant who gave me the server space. However, you can find a lot of webblogs for free online. 2. Upload things as […]

How I work


The Living Archive

My sister and I made a quilt for my daughter for her first Christmas. A quilt is a type of blanket made from pieces of fabric sewn together. This quilt is a patchwork of different fabrics which were chosen by my sister. The quilt is called a rag quilt because it is sewn in such […]

Intimacy as an Archiving Process

I have a book about Louise Bourgeois. It was made after a retrospective of her work at the CAPC in Bordeaux. This book contains drawings, excerpts from her diaries, letters, and interviews with Louise Bourgeois. When I came upon this book it amazed me because it was the first book that gave me an insight […]

Hospitality and the Archive

There is a specific passage in Jacques Derrida’s book Archive Fever which reads: ‘It is thus, in this domiciliation, this house arrest, that archives take place.’ Derrida states this after speaking about the place of residence of the archive in a physical sense and the power that the place of residence indicates – the power […]