[ISEA2022] Paper: Flóra Barkóczi — Experimental archiving. Artpool’s website as a digital archive of underground art in Hungary


Second Summit on New Media Art Archiving
June 10, MACBA – Convent dels Àngels. Short paper.

Keywords: web art, experimental archiving, post-socialist, musealization, self-archiving

The paper intends to present a unique example of digital art archiving, the experimental website of Artpool Art Research Center, an underground art archive founded in 1979 in Budapest, Hungary. The website created by one of the founders, artist György Galántai can be considered both as the extension of the physical space of the archive, and as a web-based multimedia artwork to be archived. Artpool is known as one of the largest art archives of non-official art in the East-Central European region, with a focus on experimental mediums like mail art, artistamp, artist books, visual poetry, sound poetry, installation, or performance. Artpool.hu developed between 1995 and 2020 not only functions as a digital archive of the underground art scene of the region but also serves as an example of the experimental use of the web in the nineties, which was characterized by the positive vibes around the new political conditions in Europe and the prospect of a global network, the Internet. The underground status of Artpool has been challenged by recent years’ institutional transformation, becoming the department of the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest in 2015, also affecting Artpool’s digital archival strategies and online presence. https://artpool.hu/en

  • Flóra Barkóczi is an art historian working as an archivist and researcher at Artpool Art Research Center Budapest, Hungary. She is also a PhD student at the Film, Media and Contemporary Culture PhD program at ELTE Budapest. At Artpool she is responsible for the development and research of materials based on new media and digital technologies since the 1980s. She is interested in new interpretations of Artpool’s presence on the Internet since the mid-nineties, as a continuation of its former networker activities of the 1970s. Her research focus includes new media art, contemporary fine art photography, and internet-based art practices from the 90s on. As a PhD candidate, she is focusing on the development of digital culture and media art in Hungary and as a broader context in the East-Central European region in the nineties and its conditions determined by the establishment of liberal democracies right after the change of the regime.