What is the mission of Interference Archive?
The mission of Interference Archive is to explore the relationship between cultural production and social movements. This work manifests in an open stacks archival collection, publications, a study center, and public programs including exhibitions, workshops, talks, and screenings, all of which encourage critical and creative engagement with the rich history of social movements.
Interested in learning more? Send us an email!
What can I find in the archive?
The archive contains many kinds of objects that are created as part of social movements by the participants themselves: posters, flyers, publications, zines, books, T-shirts and buttons, moving images, audio recordings, subject files, and other materials.
How do we use this collection of ephemera?
Through our programming, we use this cultural ephemera to animate histories of people mobilizing for social transformation. We consider the use of our collection to be a way of preserving and honoring histories and material culture that is often marginalized in mainstream institutions.
Who runs Interference Archive?
As an all-volunteer organization, all members of our community are welcome and encouraged to shape our collection and programming; we are a space for all volunteers to learn from each other and develop new skills. We work in collaboration with like-minded projects, and encourage critical as well as creative engagement with our own histories and current struggles.
As an archive from below, we are a collectively run space that is people powered, with open stacks and accessibility for all. We are supported by the community that believes in what we’re doing. Our operational expenses are paid by individuals who give regular monthly donations, through the support of one-time financial gifts of any amount, and through donations from classes that visit our space. Please consider supporting our work.
We welcome you to get involved.
Interference Archive was founded in 2011 by Kevin Caplicki, Molly Fair, Dara Greenwald, and Josh MacPhee. Our initial collection grew out of the personal accumulation of Dara and Josh, who amassed an extensive collection of materials including books, prints, music, moving images, and ephemera through their involvement in social movements, DIY and punk, and political art projects over the past 25 years.
Together with Molly and Kevin’s skills, knowledge, and commitment, they envisioned turning these personal collections into a public archive, with open-access to materials for the communities who created them, and with archival work conducted by movement participants with firsthand knowledge of its historical context. We realized their vision with the helping hands and dedication of our friends, families, and communities, and in December 2011, Interference Archive opened its doors.
Since 2011, Interference Archive has launched three to four exhibitions per year and approximately 80 free public events per year. We have seen a direct correlation to the growth of our community alongside each exhibition that we mount. We have also seen an increase in donations of unique material to our collection as the profile of Interference Archive grows. This increases our ability to meet the goals of our mission, providing better access to materials generated by social movements and more resources for people who visit and use our space.
The work at Interference Archive is done in the spirit and memory of Dara Greenwald, who we lost to cancer in 2012. Her ideas and energy continue to inspire us today. Dara Greenwald’s papers are held at Interference Archive, and can be accessed onsite or read about through this finding aid.