Inside\Within Interviews Marc Fischer on His Archival Practice

Marc Fischer discusses his archival and publication projects, Temporary Services and Public Collectors, with Inside\Within. Find an excerpt of the interview below, and read the entire interview at Inside\Within:

Is this one of the reasons you became so interested in exploring others’ collections at home?

"Many people who collect things are highly knowledgeable about what they have because they are so personally invested and obsessed. In my experience, a lot of collectors are just as willing to do the research as a professional curator or institutionally-affiliated scholar. Because people often collect things that museums don’t value, they may have to do a lot of extra work because there might not be a single book on the things they are interested in. If people care deeply enough about a subject they will do the research and pursue scholarship in their own way. I have a friend who must absolutely be the most informed person in the world about punk rock, hardcore and heavy metal records and demo tapes from New Jersey. He has seemingly every thing there is to have and knows everything about it, and knows many of the people in the bands. There is no museum of underground music from New Jersey. If you want to learn about this stuff, you’d have to find my friend Tommy, buy him a beer, and visit him at his house. This may seem less serious to some people. Tommy doesn’t have a PhD. in Musicology, but he is as committed as any museum curator I’ve ever met. Probably far more committed.

I like going to the homes of people that have close relationships with artists or writers, or bands, or publishers and activist groups. Sometimes those people are also artists or publishers. I wish I visited people’s collections in their home more often. Sometimes I go to a person’s house and even though there is great stuff everywhere, we might spend so much time talking that we forget to look at things. Anyway, visiting people that have an intimate connection to a history is exciting and I like this approach to teaching and learning. I aspire to be useful to artists I have a connection to in that way, and whose materials I’m holding onto, and I hope others will create pathways to access things that I have made."