Back to Top

Interference Archive

Exploring the relationship between cultural production and social movements.

Email: info@interferencearchive.org

Address:
131 8th Street, Suite 4
Brooklyn, NY 11215

2 blocks from F/G/R trains at 4th Av / 9th St

Website: interferencearchive.com

Mission

Interference Archive explores the relationship between cultural production and social movements. This work manifests in public exhibitions, a study and social center, talks, screenings, publications, workshops, and an online presence. The archive consists of many kinds of objects that are created as part of social movements by the participants themselves: posters, flyers, publications, photographs, books, T-shirts and buttons, moving images, audio recordings, and other materials. 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. As an archive from below, we are a collectively run space  that is people powered, with open stacks and accessibility for all.  We work in collaboration with like-minded projects, and encourage critical as well as creative engagement with our own histories and current struggles.

The archive is all-volunteer and relies on the help of many people.We currently organize the labor of running the project into working groups: Administration, Cataloging, Born Digital, Education, Fundrraising, and and evolving series of ad-hoc curatoral groups for each exhibition.

Our History

Interference Archive was founded 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 we opened, we have already come a long way toward developing an autonomous space and archive unlike any other in New York City. Collectively, we’ve built an impressive repository of social movement history from below. We’ve created a social center within which to study, process, debate, use, and produce work that reflects people’s struggles around the globe, past and present. And we’ve grown faster than we could have imagined!

Here are some highlights from our first three years:

  • An open-access, open-stack archive of cultural ephemera produced by and for social movements worldwide.

  • Over a dozen exhibitions, including the Persistence of Dreams, a retrospective of work by Sublevarte Collectivo from Mexico City; Radioactivity! Anti-nuclear Movements from Three Mile Island to Fukushima;  Àvenir (an installation by the Montreal-based design collective Ècole de la Montagne Rouge, active in the Quebec student strike of 2012); Strike Then, Strike Now: an Exhibition and Event Series about Work Stoppages; Serve the People: The Asian American Movement in New York; Self-Determination Inside/Out: Prison Movements Transforming Society, We Are Who We Archive (A Focus on Recent Donors and Acquisitions in 2014); We Won’t Move: Tenants Organizing in New York City; and if a song could be freedom. . . Organized Sounds of Resistance.

  • Over a half dozen publications: exhibition catalogs for RadioActivity!, Serve the People, The Persistence of DreamsSelf-Determination Inside/Out, Documents from the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, We Won’t Move, and a 7″ record to coincide with if a song could be freedom. . . Organized Sounds of Resistance.

  • Over fifty talks and workshops, including the history of anti-war posters and graphics by archivist Carol Wells; a May Day poster critique and design charrette with Occuprint; a look at a punk- and anarchist-inspired UK football club by Bristol Radical History Group’s Roger Wilson; a presentation by Egyptian designer and activist Ganzeer; and dozens of programs related to our exhibitions.

  • Film screenings in conjunction with our exhibits as well as movies such as Maggots and Men, Land of Destiny, and the premiere of The Days of the Commune.

  • A number of significant donations to the collection, including over 300 political protest buttons from Eleanor Bader, hundreds of posters from African and Latin American movements and solidarity organizations from Alexis De Veaux, twenty years worth of anarchist posters from the Bound Together Bookstore in San Francisco, ephemera from European squatters movements from Alan W. Moore, a large selection of anti-nuclear and peace posters from John Miller, and a beautiful collection of Cuban posters from Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey which were originally collected by his father Carlos Vega.

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.

Associated Artists
Friends of Justseeds, Josh MacPhee, Kevin Caplicki, & Molly Fair

Subjects
AnarchismAnti-capitalismAnti-warCulture & MediaEcology & AnimalsEducationEn EspañolEnvironment & ClimateFeminisms & GenderGlobal SolidarityHealthHistoryHousing & CitiesIndigenous ResistanceInspirationLaborMigrationPolice & PrisonsQueer LiberationRacial JusticeSocial Movements
Workshop/Discussion on Reproducible Graphics and OSPAAAL

Workshop/Discussion on Reproducible Graphics and OSPAAAL

WHERE

Interference Archive
131 8th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Zine-making with Cuban political graphics: a discussion and workshop. In this workshop, participants will explore the work of OSPAAAL (the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia, and…

Solidarity on the Move

Solidarity on the Move

WHERE

Interference Archive
131 8th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Make Sure You’re Not Being Watched

Make Sure You’re Not Being Watched

WHERE

Interference Archive
131 8th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Screening with filmmakers Sherry Millner & Ernie Larsen   An evening of anarchist film. Join us to watch and discuss Sherry Millner & Ernie Larsen’s Shoplifting: It’s a Crime? and…

Solidarity, Distribution, Design: The Poster Today

Solidarity, Distribution, Design: The Poster Today

WHERE

Interference Archive
131 8th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215

A great panel featuring artists, designers, and historians discussing the intersections of solidarity, propaganda, poster making, and image distribution. As the event is part of the programming for Interference Archive’s…

Interference Archive 1st Annual Benefit

Interference Archive 1st Annual Benefit

WHERE

Verso Books
20 Jay St., Suite 1010
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Join Interference Archive for an evening of friends, refreshments, and art as they raise money to support all the amazing exhibitions, public programming, and collections at the Archive. There will…

Justseeds Hang Out & Print Sale at Interference Archive

Justseeds Hang Out & Print Sale at Interference Archive

WHERE

Interference Archive
131 8th St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
2 blocks from the Fourth Avenue F/G/R stop

Justseeds members Josh MacPhee and Kevin Caplicki will be holding a print sale during open hours at Interference Archive this coming Saturday! Swing by to shoot the breeze, check out…

Baldwin Reading Group

Baldwin Reading Group

WHERE

Interference Archive
131 8th St #4
Brooklyn, NY 11215

The New York Council for the Humanities, in collaboration with Interference Archive, will host a James Baldwin reading and discussion group, running weekly from January 23 through March 5 (with…

Our Comics Ourselves: Identity, Expression, and Representation in Comic Art

Our Comics Ourselves: Identity, Expression, and Representation in Comic Art

WHERE

Interference Archive
131 8th ST #4
Brooklyn, NY 11215

The exhibition Our Comics, Ourselves: Identity, Expression, and Representation in Comic Art presents the graphic stories that describe the complexity and diversity of our collective experience, and examines the social…

Voices From Outside at Evolving Festival

Voices From Outside at Evolving Festival

WHERE

The Clemente
107 Suffolk Street
New York, NY 10002
(btw Rivington & Delancey)

Interference Archive has contributed a copy of Voices From Outside to the current festival happening in NYC. Evolving has grown into a festival of FreeJazz music, dance improvisation, poetry and…

Inaugurating Resistance Propaganda Party

Inaugurating Resistance Propaganda Party

WHERE

Interference Archive
131 8th St #4
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Interference Archive is hosting a propaganda party on the weekend of January 14/15 to produce and disseminate artistic material to be used during the counter-inauguration actions.

Commonwealth: Water for All

Commonwealth: Water for All

WHERE

Queens Museum
New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens NY 11368

Commonwealth: Water For All brings together We Are the Storm and Wellspring, two recent portfolios of artists’ prints developed by the Justseeds Artist Cooperative on the subjects of climate change resistance and water. This exhibition also features a selection of materials on loan from Interference Archive including the now iconic graphics developed for the 2016 movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota.

Building Resistance Propaganda Party

Building Resistance Propaganda Party

WHERE

Interference Archive
131 8th St #4
Brooklyn, NY 11215

What is a propaganda party? It’s where we get together to make and share graphic and informational material that we can use in our organizing work. Join us on March…

Sowing Resistance Propaganda Party

Sowing Resistance Propaganda Party

WHERE

Interference Archive
131 8th St #4
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Join us on April 23rd at Interference Archive! This is a time to meet people, learn about the work different organizations are doing, and pick up flyers, stickers, posters, buttons,…