Ciar O'Mahony and Isabella Waite

Analogue Dialogue. Cubitt Archive Placement x Goldsmiths MA Curating. 2020.

In early 2020, Izzy Waite and Ciar O’Mahony received the Cubitt Archive Research Placement.  This placement allows for Goldsmiths MFA Curating students to activate the Cubitt Artists’  archive with original programming. While their placement was originally intended to last six  months, Covid-19 caused major delays and the project’s development took a bit longer. This  extra time was welcome however, as it enabled the curators to create a two-part programme  exploring the importance of experimental organisation and shared governance in Cubitts’  history and in arts spaces more broadly. Both Izzy and Ciar were drawn to this topic as they  believe that collective discourse is an essential characteristic of artist groups with long term  goals such as Cubitt Artists’. At the same time, this vital ingredient is often underemphasised  when discussing arts collectives’ formation, success, and longevity. 

The curators explored this idea in two parts, firstly, with a zine titled Analogue Dialogue (AD). AD invited members of the Cubitt community to share significant, yet fleeting, moments,  conversations, and interactions, unlikely to have been documented in the archive. The curators  believe that such moments are as important to Cubitt’s identity as the exhibitions, publications, and professional opportunities it has generated. By publishing the replies and media they  received from participants as a zine, they seek to acknowledge these crucial, if ephemeral,  exchanges which shed light on Cubitts’ social ecology. 

In lieu of a zine launch, Analogue Dialogue’s release is activated by a recorded conversation  expanding on the themes it explores. The conversation, How Do You Say Yes, takes place  between Cubitt’s Director of Programmes Amal Khalaf, who is also included in the zine, and  Canadian art gallery director Emelie Chhangur. Both Khalaf and Chhangur are leaders, using  their positions to productively challenge the conventions of institutional operations which often  risk replicating racist and colonial violence.  

Together, these two programmes explore the evolving role of cultural institutions, the ethical  responsibilities of those who administer arts spaces and how artists can productively utilise  their communities. A digital copy of the zine is available on this web page, as well as a link to  the recorded conversation between Emelie Chhangur and Amal Khalaf. Physical copies of the  zine are available at Cubitt Artists’. 

Special thanks to Ele Carpenter and Lizzy Whirrity and Paul Clinton for overseeing the project,  to Nicky Hoberman, Helen Ireland, Andrew Carter, Polly Staple and Charlene Sandy for  contributing to the zine, to Emelie Chhangur for participating in the interview and, finally, to  Amal Khalaf for all of the above!  

Music Attribution. Song “No Wing” by Ketsa is licensed under CC-BY-ND-2.0. The full version as  well as other songs can be found at this link, https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ketsa.