Film still, Wojciech Siemion and the 140 Rascals. AKF Bielsko, Bielsko Biała, 1965

All new creative work is born into copyright; every image, text or sound is automatically designated as the property of its apparent author. Copyright is founded on the right of exclusion: what is contractually mine cannot be yours. Through this exclusion, copyright removes creative works from the public domain and restricts the creative re-use of resources by others.

This archive and all it contains is licensed under various Creative Commons Licences. These licences grant you the right to use, copy, modify and redistribute any film, text or image that you find of interest here. The most important operational clause within these licences is that these rights – to copy, modify and redistribute – must be extended to others. The source material, and all derivative works, will become in perpetuity a legally protected creative resource. Artists and others will be able to use and re-use the material for future creative exchange, enriching rather than depleting the creative commons.

There is astonishing growth in museums, archives, and data-banks of images and information. These new, emergent forms of archival capital exercise an increasingly powerful grip on culture and its reproduction.

Archives, like collections in museums and galleries, are built with the property of multiple authors and previous owners. But unlike a collection, there is no imperative within the logic of an archive to display or interpret its holdings. An archive designates a territory, and not a particular narrative. The material connections it contains are not already authored as someone’s  – for example, a curator’s – interpretation, exhibition or property. It is a discursive terrain.

Interpretations are invited and not predetermined.