Anne-Laure Ruffin: Wall Tides


See the project here:


Wall Tides


Archive refers to water’s material capacity for storage and memory. Not only are flotsam, chemicals, bodies, detritus, sunken treasure and other chronicles of our pasts harboured in the ocean’s depths; water, as various oral traditions show, is a literal container of story and history that serve collective cultural remembrances.

Astrida Neimanis
Thinking with water: an aqueous imaginary and an epistemology of unknowability


We first talked to Anne-Laure about her wall during her participation in the Input Party XL edition in 2020. She told us about the pinboard in her studio on which she hangs images, and sometimes objects, that serve as references for her research.

Anne-Laure looks for images of specific subjects that are of value for her research at that time. She categorizes them into themes and saves them in digital folders.

The images she wants to hang on her wall are printed in waves. Once they are hung they connect to each other and she never takes anything down. Sometimes images disappear because something has covered it but the layer underneath remains like a trace of previous ideas.

In a quest for a way to document the wall she was tempted by an instrument; the handscanner. In an undulating motion she scanned her wall and these waves are the results of this tool-driven recording.

Anne-Laure chose the handscanner because she thought it would be the most sincere way of recording. In the end the tool also changed the way she treated the wall. The way she hangs images changed: scanning needs to be as close to the surface as possible so the images are pasted to the wall with very strong double sided tape. Tape on all four corners of the print, no nails, no more objects. The wall itself became an object and the ‘mistakes’ the scanner made became part of the recording.

The result is a snapshot of her wall. Meanwhile the wall has received new images, much of the material she recorded at the time has been superseded by new images that are relevant to her process at this moment.


This contribution was commissioned by The Input Party for the series Footnotes.