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Poortgebouw Autonomous Archive This is the working wiki for the project on "Interfacing the law". We are working on the archive of the historical living-community Vereniging Poortgebouw, based in Rotterdam.

Poortgebouw is a 37 year old association that hosts cultural activities and a living community of 30 people. During these years the Poortgebouw has offered space for self-organised events and projects, acted as a residence for guests, artists and musicians, and provided a living and working space for different generations of people coming from all over the globe.

Like many other appropriated spaces, the experience of the Poortgebouw's living arrangements are a-typical and thus not always socially accepted.

The social history of the Poortgebouw is a history of dialogue and resistance, impacted in a sequence of legal struggles and their consequent adaptations.

This platform is an intervention upon the archive of the Association Poortgebouw. The Poortgebouw's collection is a big agglomeration of legal documents, correspondence between municipality, lawyers, and its inhabitants, architectural drawings of spatial transformations, documentations of parties, concerts and events, annotations of meetings and an interesting collection of anarchist's zines and various accounts of community living.

Aim of this platform is to archive locally and to encourage the collaborative collection of materials that maps the history of the Poortgebouw.

Through designing a digital interface of mediation for the collection of the community's documents, we plan on building an open and active archival machine.

Open as being build upon the media-wiki platform where people can implement and interact with the archive; the tools utilized re-activate the documents allowing for new interactions and understandings. Active as built on a local computer that will serve for the present and future generation of inhabitants to access the documents and store new materials.

We want to imagine the interface of the archive as a window on the history of the legalisation process of the community.

The building was first squatted in 1980 and then, 4 years later, legalized. The legalisation was made possible by the renovation of the building into a livable space. The dedication of the first group of people then established an official living group, with an official rental contract.

"Since then, the house has not only served residential needs but has also hosted social and cultural interaction and has provided a number of public windows into diverse non-profit oriented activities." (From:

Lots of cultural activities as well legal struggles built the history of the Poortgebouw.

For our project we want to picture and give structure to the series of transitions of the history of the community.

Autonomous Archive[edit]

Projects (in and around the archive)[edit]

recently uploaded files[edit]

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