ARC is an acronym for Archive and Curatorship.
ARC: The Visual University and its Columbarium is a UCT strategic focus on the archival and curatorial effects and possibilities of visual practices in the generation of knowledge, across all faculties.
Anchored by two existing, complementary projects, the Centre for Curating the Archive and the NRF Chair in Archive and Public Culture, the strategic focus offers opportunities to foreground the many projects at UCT already involved with archive and/or curatorship, to explore the extended columbarium and to develop and share visual methodologies across the university. It further provides a platform for wider engagements in the public domain in the area of archive and curation.
It is a response to the contemporary imperative for universities critically to examine the archives of their knowledge systems in order to open up routes to new, or refigured, bodies of evidence and new forms of knowledge. It couples critical enquiry into inherited archives with innovative visual methodologies of work in relation to archive. Such methodologies respond to the increasing visual media of the contemporary world, offering much needed additions to dominant textual and numerical methods. They offer rich possibilities for breaking archival silences and surfacing subaltern concerns within archives, even where dominant archival practices have actively sought their suppression.