Associazione Antoni Muntadas

Una riflessione sul rapporto tra archiviazione, medicina e politica donata dall’Associació Arxiu Muntadas. Centre d’Estudis i Recerca (ARXIU/AM)-Associazione Antoni Muntadas.

 “Michel Foucault’s comments with regard to medicine become pertinent when thinking of the archive as a power device that is complicit with social control. According to him, the task of modern medicine is to “listen and interpret” the “‘organ’s non-silence’ […] ‘constituted by’ or at least ‘carrying’ various discontinuous elements, i.e. isolable from each other by certain criteria.” [1] Foucault’s analysis is based on the assumption that the body has an acoustic code to send messages: when the organs are not quiet, illness appears. To Foucault, this explains why modern, Western medicine reached a consensus on how to distinguish a useful body’s message from noise. Illness-generated noises are selected and classified by the clinical experience which translates them from raw data to a diagnostic that allows noise cancellation, either through the
suggestion of a cure or through the announcement of imminent death. Accordingly, the doctor needs to identify one specific sound from other noises that can distract him or her from making the correct diagnosis. The archivist has to perform a similar task: in his or her hands, raw data from the empirical world is codified, classified, and stored. The world may sometimes be a chaotic and noisy entity in the eyes of the archivist, who seeks to cure it from the disease of disorder and misunderstanding. But, following Ernst [2], noises and accidental data might not be useless at all”.
Extract of Anna Dot & Pablo Santa Olalla, “Noise Management in the Archival Ecosystem. Debating Principles for Classification” in The Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities and Art History, ed. Kathryn Brown (London: Routledge, 2020), 178-188. 
[1] Michael Foucault, “Message ou bruit?” in Dits et écrits 1954–1988, I (1954–1969), eds. Daniel Defert, François Ewald, and Jacques Lagrange (París: Gallimard, 1994), 558.

[2] Wolfgang Ernst, Digital Memory and The Archive, ed. Jussi Parikka (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2013), 140.


Antoni Muntadas. Biografia.

Antoni Muntadas (Barcelona 1942) is an artist that addresses social, political and communication issues. He has been a professor of the practice at the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology in Cambridge. He is currently professor at the School of Architecture IUAV in Venice. Through his works he addresses social, political and communications issues, the relationship between public and private space within social frameworks, and investigations of channels of information and the ways they may be used to censor central information or promulgate ideas. He works on projects in different media such as photography, video, publications, Internet and multi-media installations. Since 1995, Muntadas has grouped together a set of works and projects titled On Translation. Their content, dimensions and materials are highly diverse, and they all focus on the author’s personal experience and artistic activity in numerous countries over a period of thirty years. By grouping such works together under this epigraph, Muntadas places them within a body of experience and concrete concerns regarding communication, the culture of our times and the role of the artist and art in contemporary society.


Informazioni sull’Archivio Antoni Muntadas

 Associació Arxiu Muntadas. Centre d’Estudis i Recerca (ARXIU/AM)
Barcelona, Spain

Team: Andrea Nacach and Antoni Mercader, organizers; Pablo Santa Olalla, collaborator.