Since many of us are trained artists, we are well-versed in the language of collage and have used its principles (along with its postmodern addendums) for many of our projects. In actuality, our recombination techniques have aligned more often with the methods of the bricoleur in two important ways: the bricoleur works with and only with the material at hand and she often uses more devious means compared to those of the craftsman. These actions lead to inventive subterfuges – of form and content alike.
The Wrap-Up was an annual published from 1992 – 2000 by the Institute of Cultural inquiry that commented on the cultural events of the preceding year as seen through the eyes of our organization. It mixed contemporary news culled from the newspapers we collect for The AIDS Chronicles with historical documents from our Library and Ephemera Kabinett in order to question the underlying belief systems of current cultural traditions. By limiting our raw material to the collections at hand, we were able to tease out connections that might have escaped our notice. At the same time, our careful attention to detail was rewarded with document templates that were easy to replicate or ‘enhance’ when the raw material before us couldn’t keep up with our imagination. The zine-like Wrap-Up was produced on the xerox machine from fragments collected by hand and created underhand, the combination of which is no longer known or remembered.
We have come to see our bricolage techniques as a reflection of history itself, that it is remade as much as it is remembered and that it is found not only in its boisterous stories but in its silent forms.