The Schwules Museum Archive contains over 1 kilometer of materials documenting the histories and cultures of LGBTIQ communities. Every attempt is made, through the activities of the archival staff, to sort, categorize, and catalogue the holdings for future reference. This task is, however, far from complete. A digitization process and database, currently in planning, is crucial. These conditions serve as the basis for the installation: an abstract materialization of the museum’s very heart and soul, its hidden treasure.
The work consists of two parts, both emerging from a series of wild dérives over six months through the archive – opening and closing different boxes and drawers, spontaneously and randomly selecting media and materials. For Part A, the findings have been digitized and stored onto 20 hard drives. These are then chemically mined to extract the gold that is employed in data storage system. The original archival documents, translated digitally, exposed as inscribed metal, are further transformed into a powder, which is then vaporized onto a glass plate to create a mirrored surface. The mirror is the data. The data is the mirror. Looking back at the archive, seeing oneself in the shade of gold. Part B specifically works with a selection of VHS pornography. The audio tracks of the pornos are isolated and mined for the exact instance of orgasm. These sonic records are pieced together to compose a “choir of orgasms.” The mirror and the soundscape are connected by an electrodynamic exciter, a tool that transmits the sound data as vibrations through the mirror. Thus, the data-mirror is transformed into a gold speaker that emits the constant resonance of climax – an alchemical metamorphosis occurs, the archive undergoes queer re-animation. No longer just documents to stumble across in a basement; instead, a strange and wondrous entity that glows and sings.
PPKK is a casual nomadic lab founded in Berlin 2016 by Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld and Louis-Philippe Scoufaras, in the pursuit of analyzing and reflecting upon specific (local) contexts, generating mythological, technological and trickster outputs in order to shift perspectives and enable fruitful new interpretations.