The Art | Crime Archive (ACA) is a collaborative laboratory, teaching center, and web-based platform devoted to the study of the shadow space where art and crime overlap. The ACA’s online platform was created in 2012 and since its inception has functioned as a participatory archive for a wide range of scholars, artists, students, and community members.

The ACA’s method involves locating, archiving, and studying visual, audio, and text artifacts that illuminate the cultural similarities between deviant art and criminal behaviors. As such, the ACA investigates ‘criminal art’ and ‘creative crime.’ The work product is a dynamic archive which can be configured and re-configured for a multiplicity of contexts — art exhibitions, academic presentations, community awareness panels, etc. Ultimately, the ACA aims to foment a dialectic of interpretation of crime and art objects.

The ACA has five branches:

  1. The Online Platform is a participatory archive; global participants come to artcrimearchive.net to share, consider, and comment on artifacts that illuminate the cultural similarities between transgressive art and criminal behaviors.
  2. Sponsored Events such as museum exhibitions and public discussions bring together people and artifacts in real time to stimulate discussion, reflection and debate.
  3. Academic Research in the form of conference presentations and scholarly publications
  4. Sustained Educational Opportunities — which take the form of university-level courses and masterclasses offered at universities and in seminars with community members — using interdisciplinary curricula to engage students in critical thinking about art, creativity, criminal behavior, subversive practices, and public policy.
  5. Fellows of the ACA: artists, criminals, criminologists, activists, and others actively working on deviant art and creative crime.

All five branches of the ACA are highly collaborative. By facilitating collaboration, the ACA assumes the role of a collective memory: it becomes a collective instantiation of a global community’s opinion about the in-flux limits of cultural transgression.

The ACA is currently a part of SDSU’s Institute for Public and Urban Affairs (IPUA), and is directed by an artist (Brian Goeltzenleuchter), a criminologist (Paul Kaplan), and a computer engineer (Dan Salmonsen).





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