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The Elusive Archive

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A reinterpretation of the printed 50-year archive of Biennale Interieur, Belgium's major international design exhibition.

The archive, comprised of over three hundred magazines and newspapers, offered Specht Studio and collaborator Levi Lanser the opportunity to (re)shape, (re)interpret, and (re)invent the archive by selecting and publishing scans from the publications.

Rational content was approached in an intuitive way, with just a few parameters: 1) Intuitive action (picking the magazine); 2) Structured action (setting a timeframe); 3) Structured action (three scans); 4) Intuitive action (a personal scan).

Because the results were unknown, Specht and Lanser called the work an “elusive archive.” Elusive—meaning difficult to find, catch, or achieve.

The final publication features forty posters, as well as a transcription of an email conversation about the project between Specht and Lanser. A full list of magazines used in the project is recorded on the cover noting title, publishing date, and type of content used for the publication. 

Published by Stockmans, in collaboration with Specht Studio and Levi Lanser

Conceived for The New Masters, a project by DIFT for Biennale Interieur 2018 in Kortrijk, Belgium.

Printed in a limited, individually numbered edition of 300 copies

80 pages, unbound broadsides, full color, 12 × 16.5 inches

ISBN: 978-9-07-720755-0