Dear friends of The Present Tense,
2015 marks ten years since our first event, Activate: an evening of occurrence. Back then, we had a simple goal to support a movement of experiential art that we felt was underrepresented and had few options for exhibition. The event was modest but well attended, and confirmed our belief that it was our responsibility to support this movement that we were a part of. From 2005 through 2009 we continued to organize a series of events ranging in size from intimate happenings to large scale international performance art festivals. Our goal was always to show the work of artists at varied stages in their career from all over the world, to create thriving bridges between Boston and other places connected by experiential art practices. The outcome of these efforts was intense discourse, countless moving performances, many new friends, and of course shoeboxes full of documentation.
In 2009 we both lost our space and launched The Present Tense Archive online, which was an effort to take the traces of the works hiding in shoeboxes and make them available to anyone. It was a daunting task, but with the help of many friends including the Berwick Research Institute, Vela Phelan, and Coco Segaller, we were able to create an archive in the form of a blog. Since then, the archive has accumulated more content than we ever imagined. Interviews, guest posts, and curated thematic posts populated the archive alongside the images and video we had captured ourselves. It became more than an archive, it became a community platform for the art and movement we had set out to support.
A lot has changed since 2009, especially ways for individuals to navigate the internet and strategies for archiving experiential-based works. It is time for TPT to change, too. This will be the last post on this platform, and the rest of 2015 will be spent reconfiguring the way TPT exists. The form will change, but the function will not. Priority will be given to finding a way to make this accumulated content easier to navigate and more accessible. We are also contemplating other, more experimental forms of archiving.
This does not mean that The Present Tense will not be active! We will still be maintaining our Tumblr, Facebook page, Twitter, and of course our Vimeo page which hosts a large number of works by many artists including our own work. We will still send out seasonal email updates about our activities. The Present Tense was born out of our collaboration and has always been an extension of our own artistic practices. You can also keep up with what we are working on through our personal websites. The blog, however, will remain untouched, enshrined as a relic much like the work it hosts.
Phil & Sandrine