Mark Orange, ‘Archiwik.org’ 2016, Online Project | TULCA 2016

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Mark Orange’s project for TULCA 2016, The Headless City, is archiwik.org, a new public wiki being launched specially for the festival. Inspired by Georges Bataille’s famous short article, ‘Architecture’, which he wrote for the Surrealist magazine Documents in 1929, archiwik.org is a website constructed using  the MediaWiki software that drives Wikipedia. The site will be host to a diverse, eclectic collection of observations, descriptions and responses, a wry, ambivalent response to the dictates and disciplines of architecture, in the past, in the future, and today.

The wiki software enables any user to edit or discuss articles, or to add articles of their own, using a simple, intuitive editing interface. So archiwik.org, which will be maintained permanently after the festival is finished, will gradually grow to be a collective repository of articles and discussions.The short articles that Bataille and several others wrote for Documents were part of a section called the ‘Critical Dictionary’, and were intended to be alternative ‘definitions’ or encyclopaedia entries on an apparently arbitrary range of topics: the 47 or so entries that were completed included ‘Abattoir’, ‘Keaton (Buster)’, ‘Materialism’, ‘Eye (Cannibal Delicacy)’, ‘Hygiene’ and ‘Spittle’. The very diversity of the concepts explored was central to the project, which set out to use Surrealist tactics of defamiliarisation to read the contemporary world in a new way.

Mark Orange is a visual artist who was born in Belfast and received a BA and MA in Fine Art from the University of Ulster. In 1993, he was a founding member of Belfast artist-run organisation Catalyst Arts. He was a recipient of the PS1 Studio Programme Fellowship in 1997-98 and, for the past 16 years, has been working in New York and Ireland. His work is often site-specific and focuses on architectural space and the figure of the architect. Key projects have included a trilogy of 16mm short films that unfold micro-dramas around architectural locations in New York, a group of pieces that examine the contradictions and discontinuities of the ‘open 24 hour’ city, and a series of audio installations based upon interviews with architects presented as radio documentaries ‘broadcast’ at contemporary and historical architectural sites. Recent exhibitions include ‘Temporal Rendering’ at University of Ulster, Belfast, ‘A False Sense’, Catalyst Arts, Belfast, ‘Re ; Public’ at Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, and ‘Technically Sweet’ at Participant Inc and Anthology Film Archives, New York and Overgaden, Copenhagen. Mark has also continued to be active as a curator, working as an Associate Director at Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York.

Mark Orange