The Provisoria is a temporary space for approximately 5.000 newspaper images that are organized as a matrix interactively accessible like a digital archive on the website of the Sydney Biennale.

These images, part of a collection of 30.000 images, are kept in a dedicated database, structured by keywords, colors, and dates, and can be accessed interactively with tailor-made software. This software not only provides access to the images, but also allows querying possiblilities based on keyword, color or date, and can generate comprehenisve statistics based on the large image database and the users input queries.

The provisoria introduces another way of measuring and looking at the flood of news images. For more than 20 years images were selectively gathered from international newspapers, which I considered striking or important, often in the context of historical happenings. The images are subsequently categorised and placed in a matrix, thus creating a visual connectivity that shapes my art. This collection is always incomplete, never fixed and of course leads only to more chaos, furhter subdivisions and potentional relations.

From the material of mass media, Ria Verhaeghe creates a different perspective on the present as well as another collective memory, a kind of Mnemosyne-Atlas like Aby M. Warburg’s of 1924-1929, whose ordering similarly could be described as researching visual clusters not so much by visual similarity, but rather through relationships caused by an “affinity for one another” and the principle of “good company”—an archive as transitional space where nothing is definite, but where everything contributes to the creation of meaning, a meaning always becoming new meaning, never fixed. Verhaeghe finds the finite and fixed positioning of a picture or a word dreadful, since the possibility for further development, for a further connection is taken away. Her urge is to reconnect these loose hanging threads with each other in the confluence of the x-y lines in the matrix, and hence, interactively with the computer in the hands of the visitor (Catherine de Zegher, Bracha L. Ettinger & Ria Verhaeghe, Alma Matrix, Antoni Tapiès Foundation, Barcelona 2010)