On 7 March 2019, Reference Guide (Roma Publications) will be presented in Kunsthal Gent. Several excerpts from the collection will be presented and accompanied by a guided tour / lecture by Michiel De Cleene.
Reference Guide is a collection of entries, connected and fueled by cross-references. These not only determine the characteristics of the collection and its use, but they are also the mechanism behind its expansion. Although the main focus of Reference Guide lies within moments of technological candour, the collection demonstrates a surprisingly high interest in characters and phenomena along the side-lines of these episodes and displays a severe tendency to digress.
Reference Guide aims at allowing each reader to construct his or her own path through the different entries. This movement is similar to the one you might make within l’Encyclopédie, The Winkler Prins, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Wikipedia, etc.; a movement that might take you from the entry on the aorta, to the heart, to surgeon, to scalpel, to knife, to axe, to forestry only to end up at silver birch or – with a different turn somewhere along the way – at windmill, oil painting, carbon monoxide, the moon or keel.
The DIN A4-pages in this book are a uniform way of presenting the heterogeneous material this project consists of. The collection incorporates modified carousel projectors, two pacemakers taking each other for a heart, transcripts, framed pictures, manuals, short films, a giant billboard, recordings, altered batteries, a collection of low pressure sodium lamps, a carpet, a pronouncing dictionary, postcards, eighty pigeon rings on a rope, seven scale-models of a Himalayan mountain, etc.
This book is the reference guide to this collection: for each entry, it gathers both the DIN A4-page(s) and – in the margins – the provisional set of cross-references.
An updated version of this reference guide accompanies every iteration of the collection, whether it manifests itself as an exhibition, an archive, a lecture, a website, a guided tour, etc.
Michiel De Cleene is a researcher at KASK & Conservatorium, the School of Arts of HOGENT and Howest. The publication Reference Guide is part of the eponymous research project and was financed by the HOGENT Arts Research Fund.