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Bryony Roberts
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This collection of discursive images examines the work of emerging practitioners who produce destabilizing documentations of historic artifacts. The word artifact here indicates a building, architectural element, or craft technique that originated in a past cultural moment. In the act of recording artifacts with new materials and technologies, these practitioners problematize the intentions and processes of documentation. Revealing social, economic, or environmental dimensions that were previously overlooked, these projects critique pretenses of objective recording and instead reveal biases in valuing and representing histories. Expanding the frame of analysis, the projects shift attention away from artifacts as discrete objects and situate them as part of larger systems of cultural and monetary exchange. Using the mediums of chocolate, digital weaving, 3-D printing, x-rays, and fiberglass, respectively, these projects remake historical artifacts through processes of serial reproduction. In the new versions, the original forms of the artifacts often persist, but as vessels for information about their own value and dissemination. The new, sometimes unrecognizable, versions of existing conditions serve as both records and as new design objects.

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