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Friday, 27 April 2018

Thomas Sauvin: A Man with an Accent!

above image from a collaboration with Cari van der Yacht

Here's a short interview by Thomas Sauvin for the Activating the Archive symposium in Bristol on
May 5th

Thomas Sauvin is the man in charge of the Beijing Silvermine, an archive of images found in piles of
negatives that were bound for recycling for silver until Sauvin saved them.

He recycles these images in collaborations, in exhibitions and in books. Below is Xian, an absurdly
beautiful cabinet of curiosities in book form. You can see more images here to uncover the mystery of
the book's construction.

Thomas Sauvin - 线 / Xian from Eltonprod on Vimeo.

1. What has led to your involvement with archive material?

During the twelve years I lived in China, I was surrounded by neglected images and quite naturally felt the need to rescue them. I ended up amassing over a million photos and equally felt the need to share them.

2. How do you activate the material that you gather and why is this important?

I suppose the most crucial step is the process of constantly observing the material, until something unexpected and hopefully meaningful emerges almost organically from it. Collecting and observing would be rather useless if the fruits of these investigations where not to be shared with the world, in my case the photobook proved to be the perfect tool to do so.

3. In post digital world, what role do physical archive play?

Possibly the same role that the digital archives we’re building today will play in twenty years of time: They allow us to dive in the past in a magical way, often giving us wonderful insights of what the human race is capable of, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

4. Briefly, what can we expect from your talk?

Hopefully a good laugh, maybe a few tears, and most certainly a
very thick French accent.

Thomas Sauvin will be talking about all this and much more on Saturday 5th May at the Arnolfini in Bristol in this brilliant symposium on the archive with speakers including  Maja Daniels, Charbel Saad, Thomas Sauvin, Kensuke Koike, and Amak Mahmoodian.
It's a serious bargain at £25 for the day and takes place in the wonderful waterfront location of the Arnolfini, with fantastic food, drink and cake all available within a few minutes walk.

Buy your tickets for ICVL's Activating the Archive here.

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