The Go-To How-To Guide to Anarchiving




The SenseLab is a laboratory for thought in motion.


Based in Montreal, the SenseLab is an international network of artists and academics, writers and makers, from a wide diversity of fields, working together at the crossroads of philosophy, art, and activism.



Participants are held together by affinity rather than by any structure of membership or institutional hierarchy. The SenseLab’s event-based projects are collectively self-organizing. Their aim is to experiment with creative techniques for thought in the act. The SenseLab’s product is its process, which is meant to disseminate. The measure of success is the creative momentum that spins off into individual and group practices elsewhere, to seed new processes asserting their own autonomy. The SenseLab makes no claim to ownership, operating as much as possible on the principle of a gift economy.



Erin Manning founded the SenseLab in 2004 out of a desire to build a supportive environment conducive to new modes of encounter and expression. Her premise was that concepts are never pre-programmed. Rather, they are experimental effects of an on-going process which emerge in the doing, and merge with making. The concepts and techniques collectively arrived at over the first ten years of SenseLab actvities are explored in “Propositions for Thought in the Act” (in Erin Manning and Brian Massumi, Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience, University of Minnesota Press, 2014).




The Go-To How-To Guide to Anarchiving

This proposition takes a traditional book form. The subject of the book is, precisely, whether a traditional book can be an anarchive. It raises the question of the difference between an archive and an anarchive, in specific relation to the book genre. In what way do the various contemporary forms of the book carry knowledge and propositions of the anarchival kind through the medium of language? Under what circumstances can these knowledge mobilisations move beyond the academy? The ebook combines a variety of kinds of writing by participants of the “Distributing the Insensible” event, including philosophical writing, propositional writing, descriptions of events, creative writing, collective writing experiments, and comics-style visual-verbal hybrids. The domains of practice ranged from curriculum to research-creation to design. This ebook is conceived as a complement to an edited anthology of academic essays on the anarchive that will appear in the Immediations Open Humanities Press book series. The two books will be interlinked as part of the Immediations mobilisation of knowledge plans. A rough, first draft of this project was composed during the “Distributing the Insensible” event. The book will be refined and then made available to the public through existing ebook distribution channels.