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November 26, 2022

Saturday 26th November @ Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
IMMA one-day seminar Saturday 26 November 9:30 – 17:00

Presented in association with The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis, Tapes Under the Bed is a curated selection of screenings and talks, that draws from current research and practical concerns about the material legacies of various art and film collectives from the 1980s in the UK and Ireland, each of whom worked from anti-imperialist, anti-racist, queer and/ or feminist positions. The materials that remain include video tapes, recordings, posters, documents and other ephemera and may not yet have found an appropriate archive or collection for their preservation however are now increasingly part of contemporary discourse. We ask how we can work effectively, sustainably, appropriately and ethically with material that has been stored by artists or others over the years in private attics, drawers, or under the bed? Contributions include:

Derry Film and Video Workshop: Response by Margo Harkin.

Cinenova Feminist Film and Video: Response by Ash Reid.

Mayday Rooms: Response by Rosemary Grennan.

Poster Collective: Contribution by Christine Halsall.

AIDS Video Activism: Response by Ed Webb-Ingall.

Retake: Responses by Aditi Jaganathan and Suman Bhuchar.

Channel Four Workshops: Response by Rod Stoneman

This talk and screening event is presented in association with the IMMA exhibition – The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis showing until 13 Feb 2023. Complementary lunch and refreshments are provided for all ticket holders. The event will be followed by a drinks reception and publication launch in the Project Art Centre, Dublin from 6 – 7pm.

Tapes Under the Bed

Tapes Under the Bed is an event comprising talks and screenings that brings together a range of international researchers, curators, artists, archivists and collectives who work in various ways with material that sprang from a common context. Over the course of the day, we will think about the difficulties of archiving as well as the current imperative to do so given the historical significance of this work and its continuing lack of resourcing, as well its value to the public across these islands.

Our guests consider how we can think and act carefully with vital archival materials from our interconnected past, and reflect on methodologies, ethics, access, organizational structures, and futurity (to include storage, distribution and funding). We will reflect on the task of preserving living archives and protecting the intellectual property rights and sensitivities of the original artists/activists/makers when formal archives arrangements and funding are not yet in place. The following questions informs the event.

  • Where the material resides or has resided over the past four decades, whether that’s changed, and whether there have been environmental hazards?
  • Political or social motivation or goals of those works, and the organizational structure and working methods of the group as well as how that has evolved in the interim period?
  • What are/ were the working conditions under which the material was made (e.g. state intervention, racist, homophobic or otherwise discriminatory funding, support and distribution regimes, Channel 4’s radical ethos and/or the limits of that)?
  • What is the relation between the people who made or gathered the original work and the people who hold on to it?
  • How to navigate the daily ethics of working with a living archive (for example, of deciding what material can or cannot be seen or shared with others, who or what impacts that decision, how that’s informed or revised, the effect that collective structures, both the original groups and the organisations currently working with the material, can have on this)?
  • Who gets paid for their work and how is that decided?
  • How to establish and protect the intellectual property rights of the original artists/ activists/ makers, if no such arrangements are in place?
  • How to establish systems that balance future artists’, researchers’, activists’ (and audiences’) access to the archive with these protections and sensitivities?


November 26, 2022
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Irish Museum of Modern Art
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