Method and course of action

The research project archiv performativ: a model concept for the documentation and reactivation of performance art was devised to conduct use-oriented basic research. In the first phase of our research we questioned institutions and individuals on current document holdings and the handling of documents in the field of performance art. Furthermore, we conducted research in collections and archives and interviews with collectors and users of performance documents. Subsequently we made a qualitative evaluation of the various documentation materials and media which we term artefacts. The findings of this phase of the research were applied in the conception of the practice-led exhibition and mediation project archiv performativ: a model. In the second phase of the research, four research teams – consisting of artists, scholars and mediators – spent a month working and experimenting with the available artefacts and specific questions concerning the documentation and transcription of performance art. At the conference Recollecting the Act. On the transmission of performance art we presented the results of the trial archive in connection with comparable national and international research projects. All the performances given during the trial archive project and at the conference were documented by the project’s participants. From this material we selected six performances as case studies for the third phase of research and analysed the media-specific transmission characteristics of individual artefacts. The findings of all research phases are summarised in Part 4, ‘Conclusions and recommendations’.