msdm a nomadic house-studio-gallery for photographic art and curatorial research, an expanded practice of the artist's book, photobook publishing and peer-to-peer collaboration created by contemporary artist paula roush



—> Um workshop líquido: arquivos líquidos
e estórias da água
—> o conceito de liquidez concretiza-se
nos processos materiais de impressão, arquivo
e publicação
—> no etiquetar, anotar e reutilizar fotografias
de arquivos oficiais, de imprensa e de associações
—> nas imagens e estórias pessoais 
(reflexões, meditações e recordações) 

—> as manchas, marcas, rasuras e variações
resultantes do contacto da água (local) com
a superfície fotográfica
—> memórias, significados e processos  não
estabilizados em contraponto a uma noção
fixa de arquivo fotográfico.








—> Um fotolivro coletivo a publicar
na versão impressa e online

 A teórica dos media Joanna Zylinska escreveu
nos últimos anos sobre "fotografias líquidas",
argumentando que a "liquidez" fornece-nos um modelo,
muito diferente, para compreender a memória,
o arquivamento e a publicação de objetos
fotográficos, que se encontram num
estado de permanente mutabilidade.

—> parte do projecto MEMÓRIA LÍQUIDA
—> relações territoriais a partir do espaço do Reservatório
e Parque da Pasteleira
—> curadoria Francisco Varela
—> workshop com msdm
—> equipa: Joana Nascimento, Maria João Ferreira,
Miguel Marecos, Betina Dal Molin Juglair 
—>Parceria: Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto

Workshop title:
Between Archive and Publication
A liquid workshop

Workshop facilitated by paula roush
In the framework of the project
“Liquid Memories: on the intersections
of territory, photography
and an architecture of water”

Curator: Francisco Varela

Dates: 15,16 e 17 January 2021

Location: Faculty of Fine Arts,
University of Porto (Portugal)
+ the urban area of Pasteleira
Reservoir and Park, city of Porto.

Summary of the activity

A photobook sourced from the Pasteleira
archives (official and personal) developed
in an open editing workshop with a group
of local photographers and residents.

Workshop pattern: Blended practice,
2 days online group workshops (Zoom)
and 2 days face to face in Porto and
final day for display
of the workshop outcomes

Participants: 6.
The program is open to University
students, staff and Pasteleira residents
who are at the beginning of their creative
career: 2 University Art students,
2 Academic researchers
and 2 Pasteleira creatives (local residents).

 Material liquidity

The workshop aims to explore the concept of

liquidity in the context of the material processes

of photographic representation, printing, archiving

and publishing in a post-digital workflow. Media

theorist Joanna Zylinska has written in recent

years about “liquid photographs,” arguing that

“liquidity” provides us with a very different

model for understanding memory, archiving and

publishing in relation to photographic objects as

permanently unfixed and unfixable.

In an open editing workshop, participants are

free to tag, annotate and reuse photographs from

official (including the Porto Water Supply company)

archives, and press archives, as well as to remix

with their personal photographic collections,

reflections, meditations and recollections. This

project demystifies the artist-author-editor roles

by working with an ethos of open access and


The brief is to develop the liquid materiality of

each photographic medium – be it official archive,

personal album, press clips and the photobook – in

a way that visualises its liquidity at a surface level.

Concrete stains, marks, erasures and variations

resulting from the contact of (local) water with

the photographic surface will allow for unfixed

memories, meanings and processes to emerge

against a fixed notion of the photographic archive.

A collective photobook to be published in print and

online with the workshop team.

A unique collaboration

“Liquid Memories: on the intersections of territory, photography and an architecture of water” is a 
unique collaboration between one of Portugal’s
leading university for contemporary art,
the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto
and London South Bank Univerity’s School of Arts
and Creative Industries ACI.

Across 12 months of research this collaborative
initiative produces new photographic records and
knowledge related to the urban area of Pasteleira
Reservoir and Park.
There,  water infrastructure and human settlement
collide in a unique constellation of territory, memory
and spatial identity.

The photographers research and collaborate with
local creatives and residents in a sequence of
photographic /social events with the goal to produce
a body of work to be exhibited, debated and
published in 2021

Museological relevance

This project provides an opportunity to develop a
new body of work for exhibition and publication,
as well as emerging curatorial concepts in the work
with photographic archives and publishing.
The overall project aims at producing a new body
of knowledge about the city of Porto, its industrial archaeology of the recent past, and memory of the
use of city space.
This has a museological relevance for the Museum
of the City, which is being developed at Pasteleira
Reservoir and Park. 

 Research visibility across multiple platforms

Research at the ACI centres is currently growing its
visibility and participation in “Liquid Memories”
project promotes it even further.  In the sequence
of collaborations with other photographic archives,
such as the Arab Image Foundation (Beirut), this
project provides ACI research with high visibility
across multiple [online] channels.

Research Excellence Framework REF/ Real-world impact

The project is rooted on and supports the Research Excellence Framework REF statement, focused on the creation of photobook works from photographic archives, using methodologies that are participatory (open) and

Following the workshop, the resulting photobook work is published as an autonomous publication, new ISBN stamped book, exploring the liquid materiality of photographic archives (official, personal and orphan)
as source for photobook publishing and display.

This photobook work is part of the project Liquid Memories public presentation (exhibition) and debate.  The photobook is published in the book monograph compiling all the research, as a fac-simile section. This monograph, whose funders are still being sourced, is sponsored by multiple partners.

Highlight 3
An edited version of the monograph to be proposed to Open Books project/ Liquid Books series, Clare Birchall and Gary Hall (eds) that welcomes proposals of experimental digital “books” which are published under the conditions of open editing and free content.

The workshop and publication of this photobook provides evidence this research practice has the potential to deliver
a transformational impact on photographic archival theoretical studies.

The workshop situates these methods within a broader relational practice of working with communities in a collaborative model, utilizing photographs as artistic research and eliciting tool to gather historical knowledge.


msdm   is  Mobile  Strategies  of  Display  &   Mediation
 a nomadic House — Studio — Gallery for photographic art
curatorial research, expanded practice of the artist's book
photobook publishing  and peer - to - peer collaborations 


by appointment only
please e-mail to schedule a visit
[within a covid safety framework]

paula roush 

London SE

school of arts  & creative industries  
london south bank university