The Curating Degree Zero Archive (CDZA) documents the work of over 100 contemporary art curators who are known internationally for their critical and experimental positions. This collection of exhibition documentation, gifted to the archivists by the curators themselves, contains, among other materials, catalogues, DVDs, magazines and ephemera. In this way the archive presents a representative cross-section of the critical curatorial discourse at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
The project began with the three-day symposium “Curating Degree Zero”, organized in Bremen in 1998 by Dorothee Richter and Barnaby Drabble. Between 2003 and 2008, the two curators worked together again on the archive, which grew in size as it travelled to eighteen venues around the world as an exhibition and a program of live events and discussions.
In 2011, the resulting collection was gifted to the Media and Information Centre (MIZ) at the Zürich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Since the opening of the university’s new premises in the Toni-Areal in 2014, the archive is accessible as a permanent reference collection on public display.
Initiated by Barnaby Drabble and Dorothee Richter, the archive was developed in partnership with the following venues, collectives and institutions:
Plug-in (Basel), Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneva, Künstlerhaus Bremen, O.K Centrum für Gegenwartskunst (Linz), Spike Island Art Space (Bristol), Halle für Kunst (Lüneburg), International Project Space (Bournville), Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (Sunderland), Artlab at Imperial College (London), Sparwasser HQ (Berlin), Edinburgh College of Art, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (Milan), Festival der Künste & Museum für Gestaltung (Zürich), INSA Art Space (Seoul), Association Drash & Point Éphémère (Paris), Rakett (Bergen), West Cork Arts Centre (Skibbereen) and Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic, Zagreb.
The Archive consists of material gifted by the following curators, artist-curators and collectives:
Arts Initiative Tokyo, Rosanne Altstatt, Amasté, Artlab, Anthony Auerbach, B+B: Sophie Hope & Sarah Carrington, Marius Babias, Basekamp, Ute Meta Bauer, Lorenzo Benedetti, Tobias Berger, Ursula Biemann, Beatrice Von Bismarck, Blok, Lionel Bovier, Tim Brennan, c a l c, camouflage, Ele Carpenter, Daniela Cascella, Vaari Claffey, Barbara Clausen, consonni, Copenhagen Free University, CRUMB, Alice Creischer & Andreas Siekmann, D.A.E: Peio Aguirre & Leire Vergara, Catherine David, Joshua Decter, Clémentine Deliss, Claire Doherty, Barnaby Drabble, Sergio Edelsztein, Eichelmann, Faiers & Rust, EIPCP, Octavian Esanu, Jacob Fabricius, Elena Filipovic, Fiteiro Cultural, Freee, Mark Garry, Sönke Gau, Catalin Gheorghe, GMK, David Goldenberg, Horst Griese, Frederikke Hansen, Kent Hansen, Maria Hlavajova, Justin Hoffmann, Manray Hsu, Andrew Hunt, Per Hüttner, Instant Coffee, International 3, K&K, Christoph Keller, Alexander Koch, Annette Kosak, Holger Kube Ventura, Kuda.org, Kuratorisk Aktion, Daniel Kurjakovic, Simon Lamunière, Kelly Large, Maria Lind, Locus +, Chus Martínez, Bernd Milla, Elke aus dem Moore, Nina Möntmann, Heike Munder, Lise Nellemann, Tone Olaf Nielsen, Hans Ulrich Obrist, NEID, Paul O’Neill, Marion von Osten, Sarah Pierce/The Metropolitan Complex, Planet22, Tadej Pogacar, Prelom, Aisling Prior, Protoacademy, Catherine Queloz, Reinigungsgesellschaft, RELAX, Dorothee Richter, Maria Riskova, Stella Rollig, Sabine Schaschl-Cooper, Annette Schindler, Katharina Schlieben, Eva Schmidt, Trebor Scholz, Marco Scotini, Yukiko Shikata, Nathalie Boseul Shin, Gregory Sholette, Joshua Simon, Lisette Smits, Reinhard Storz, Bettina Steinbrügge, Szuper Gallery, Toasting Agency, TNC Network, Attila Tordai, Trinity Session, Mark Tribe, Unwetter, Value, Sencer Vardaman, Yvonne Volkart, Stevan Vukovic, Gavin Wade, Florian Waldvogel, Cristine Wang, Astrid Wege, Lee Welch WHW, Jan Van Woensel, Ina Wudtke, Florian Wüst, Tirdad Zolghadr, Tal Ben Zvi.
Curating Degree Zero Archive in Basel
31 January – 8 March 2003
St. Alban-Rheinweg 64, Basel
With generous support of: Migros Kulturprozent & Birsig Stiftung
Production: Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneva
Exhibition Design: Elektrosmog, Annette Schindler, Wolfgang Hockenjos, Patrick Parisi
The organisers wish to particulary thank [plug.in]
for their work on the initial production of the archive, and the inital design of the website.
Curating Degree Zero Archive in Bremen
8 August – 15 September 2003
Am Deich 68/68, Bremen
Exhibition design: Elektrosmog, Barnaby Drabble,Dorothee Richter
Additional Design: Hops Bornemann
Developed with support of: Kulturstiftung des Bundes
With the additional program
Short Presentation and Discussion on Critical Curating
with Barnaby Drabble, Helmut Draxler, Frederikke Hansen, Dorothee Richter, Stella Rollig,
in Cooperation with the art project “No Man is an Island”, GAK Bremen
Curating Degree Zero Archive in Lüneburg
12 February – 6 March 2005
Halle für Kunst
Reichenbachstr. 2, Lüneburg
Installation designed an re-interpreted by Reinigungsgesellschaft (Martin Keil and Henrik Mayer)
With the cooperation of the University Lüneburg
Curating Degree Zero Archive in London
27 May – 26 June 2005
Artlab at Imperial College, London
Installation design and archive re-interpretation by Artlab, Jeanine Richards and Charlotte Cullinan.
Discussion Event: 6th of May 2005
“Curating is part of my practice”
at Serpentine Gallery, The Sackler Centre of Arts Education with Henrik Schrat, Paul O’Neill, Lise Nelleman and Artlab, Jeanine Richards + Charlotte Cullinan
Curating Degree Zero Archive in Korea
20 December 2006 – 4 February 2007
Insa Art Space
Arts Council Korea, 90 Wanseo-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
Display and re-interpretation by Sasa(44) & MeeNa Park
Opening talk and discussion 4pm December 20th
Curating Degree Zero Archive in Croatia
29 October – 15 November 2008
Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic
Curators Ana Janeski and Ivana Mestrov invited the Curating Degree Zero Archive to Zagreb.
The installation of the archive in the Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic in collaboration with the group of young curating students and designed by Dora Budor & Majea Cule.