The Input Party is a research project about how personal referential image archives become part of the process of artists and designers.
The Input Party uses images to relate to the artist’s association and visual expression and by sharing these archives with each other we learn in what way these images can be of value to others.

In 2015 the Input Party was initiated by visual artist Rachel Sellem and image researcher Elki Boerdam. They both felt the need to continue the conversation about their practice after the academic setting. They started inviting groups of creators to their studio and asked each participant to bring 10-15 printed referential images from their archives. By sharing these images we can find new connections, share references, gain insight in each other’s process and gather new input for our own practice. It has become a valuable tool for talking about complex concepts in art where the images guide us through the conversation.

Since then, these Input Parties are organized sporadically over the years. In 2017 the Input Party also realized a work period, in which seven artists developed new work through the Input Party method. In 2020 we started a new series of special Input Parties such as the Input Party XL and a collaboration with the International Institute of Social History. In 2021 we hope to publish a publication in which the results of our research is collected.

Next to this we are developing a reference database on our website where interesting links, tools, archives and databases can be found to encourage the use of images during the artistic process.


Interested in participating or collaborating? Send us an email at:

Or follow us on Instagram @input_party


The Input Party is kindly supported by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts