We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathy Carbone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathy, how does your business help the community?
I’m the director, archivist, and co-founder of The Amplification Project: Digital Archive for Forced Migration, Contemporary Art, and Action (theamplificationproject.com), a community-led public participatory digital archive for artists, activists, researchers, or other cultural producers to preserve and share new and existing art and activist projects inspired, influenced or affected by experiences of displacement, crossing borders, asylum-seeking, and refugeehood.
The Amplification Project is a consciously political, activist interventionist archive committed to: (1) intervening in public and political anti-refugee and xenophobic rhetoric; (2) being a counterpoint to the often depersonalized and dehumanized visual representation of asylum-seekers and refugees in the media; (3) using archiving to foster dialogue and greater understanding about displacement and its effects on societies, cultures, and lives; 4.) building community and solidarities; 5.) working hand-in-hand with and connecting local, national, and transnational art practices, activist projects, and conversations centered on forced migration issues.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an archival scholar, educator, and archivist.
As a researcher, I investigate how artists with liberatory intentions mobilize archives as instruments for social justice and human rights efforts. I’m interested in artists who use archives (broadly conceived) to: provoke change in a situation/condition by interrogating dominant power structures, systems, or narratives; challenge or reframe a particular history; identify omissions and gaps in the historical record and bear witness to those who have been silenced, oppressed, or marginalized. Within this frame, I aim to understand what kinds of things artists do with archives and what archives inspire artists to do, what is set in motion by this use of archives, and, as art practice is social and relational, what kinds of social effects and relationships occur through artists’ use of archives.
As an archivist, I work with artists to document, preserve, and extend the reach of their art practice (creative processes, artistic actions, works of art). Basically, I create archives with and for artists.
I am most excited about my current work, The Amplification Project! This is the first archive focused on documenting and preserving art and activism related to displacement and refugeehood.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would definitely take them to LACMA, the Broad, a performance at REDCAT as well as Malibu Lagoon State Beach and Vasquez Rocks. And there are so many incredible places to eat: Mozza (Hollywood), Little Dom’s (Los Feliz), and Noche Azul (Newhall)—I could name so many more!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate my Shoutout to Professor Anne Gilliland (https://portal.gseis.ucla.edu/staff-directory/gilliland).