Roofing (3) – In what order and by whom the various texts and drawings were carved into the soft roofing is unclear. To the right of ‘EVA’, a heart symbol and an arrow (pointing to the left), the roofing reads ‘SIMON TU ME MANQUES’.
The short sentence usually – yet hastily – translates to ‘Simon, I miss you’. However, in French the ‘you’ (tu) is the subject and has an active role, whereas the ‘I’ (me) is the direct object. In short: by his not being there, Simon actively effectuates hurt to the one who carved this text.

Introduction x Trigger

In spring 2024 and Trigger co-publish a series of online articles with a focus on the meeting ground between photography and the document. Together we have invited five artists in whose work the image (as document) and the document (as image) are critically questioned: Ho Rui An, Helene Kazan, Stephanie Kiwitt, Max Pinckers & Victoria Gonzalez-Figueras & Laurel Schwulst.

Arnout De Cleene & Michiel De Cleene

22 mei 2024 • 2 min is an online platform, collecting, describing, presenting and generating documents of all sorts. It documents was established in 2021, in May 2024 the website gathered over two hundred documents by seventeen authors. The collaboration with Trigger in spring 2024 marks a moment of growth for, in scope, subject matter and diversity of the pool of authors.

A document can function as something unique, or as something reproducible. A passport is a document, but a leaflet is equally so. Documents abound and vary: a photograph left as a bookmark in a second-hand book, a screenshot in the trash bin, a worn-out note on the pavement testifying to a school assignment and yesterday’s rain. But also a car recording the impact of a crash, a disappointing first photograph, a profanity carved in warm roofing, a slice of a mammoth tree representing historical events, a fragment of charred wood from a utility pole, a list of to-do’s written on the back of a hand. Defining a document involves ideas of communication, information, evidence, inscription, and implies notions of objectivity and neutrality – but the document is neither reducible to one of them, nor is it equal to their sum. Moreover, documents can lie; they can be ephemeral and subject to change. It is hard to pinpoint the document, as it disperses into and is affected by other fields: it is intrinsically tied to the history of media and to important currents in literature, photography and art; it is linked to epistemic and power structures. Despite its ubiquity, and however unwavering and stable it is considered to be, a document confuses. aims to question what a document is and how it functions. It gathers documents and provides them with a caption – a short textual description, explanation, or digression. But as it collects documents, it also creates documents. In Paper Knowledge, Lisa Gitelman paraphrases documentalist Suzanne BrietBriet, S. Qu’est-ce que la documentation? Paris: Edit, 1951. , stating that ‘an antelope running wild would not be a document, but an antelope taken into a zoo would be one, presumably because it would then be framed – or reframed – as an example, specimen, or instance.’Gitelman, L. Paper Knowledge. Toward a Media History of Documents. Durham/London: Duke University Press, 2014. The files gathered on are all documents – if they weren’t before publication, they now are. That is what, irreversibly, does. It is a zoo turning an antelope into an ‘antelope’.

Arnout De Cleene & Michiel De Cleene combine a background in literature and photography with an interest in the document and the documentary. Topics vary. The poetics of blockchain. Mount Vesuvius’ 1872 eruption. Coppicing near a highway parking lot. An architect’s photographic archive. Etc. Research leads to artist books, as well as essays, lectures and exhibitions. They conduct research at KASK & Conservatory, School of Arts, Gent.

  • Documents