Saturday, 1 October 2011


It's time to take a delve into The Attic Archive and display some of the material that has been stashed away for 3 decades.
The Attic Archive in Union Street, closed down last year, the contents of which have since been distributed far & wide.
This was a space where lots of artwork was produced and stored, but a place that was visited by a select few.
It was the brainchild of artist, Pete Horobin, and it is mostly his work that will be showcased on Retro Dundee, including photos, art, ephemera, literature & recordings.
To give you a more detailed overview of The Attic Archive and Pete Horobins DATA project, here below is a more authoritative introduction...
[When Pete Horobin graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone college of Art in 1975 he began the habit of collecting daily ephemera and sealing it in cardboard boxes. These little time capsules led to a compulsive documentation which was to expand over the course of the ensuing 40 years.
Two seminal and influential projects – The Accessibility of the Art Object (1978) and Junk Into Art/Art Into Junk (1979) – prepared the ground for a more sustained and obsessive ten-year documentation called DATA – Daily Action Time Archive - which began precisely on 01.01.1980 and concluded just as precisely on 31.12.1989. DATA was intended to be an extremely detailed self-portrait of an ordinary working-class artist living within a very particular moment in time within a British welfare state culture. Horobin gave everything that he produced and amassed, equal status, which is to say that complex artworks were equal to little pieces of ephemera – everything was data. And this data could provide the components for more artworks and collaborations with other artists. DATA was self-published and freely distributed globally through the Mail Art Network. Parts of the DATA project are now archived in Dundee University, Dundee Central Library, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and Artpool in Budapest which holds the greater percentage.
The creative life of Pete Horobin terminated with the precise conclusion of DATA and the activities of the DATA Attic - as an open space for artists to visit and correspond - closed down. The Attic continued to be a repository for Horobin’s output, and over the course of the following 15 years was occupied by various sympathetic art students. It was administered by Marshall Anderson, a freelance arts journalist, whose own journals and drawings were added to the archive. Anderson’s role concluded at the end of the 20thC and was taken on by Peter Haining whose activities as a researcher and artist were focused in Ireland where he made an audit of autodidactic self-expression and folk art. In 2005 Haining assumed responsibility for The Attic Archive and began to self-publish a series of DVDs & CDs, the contents of which deployed the considerable material within the archive.
Since the end of 2010 The Attic Archive has ceased to exist. Its many varied parts are now relocated in numerous museums and collections as follows –
The Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh.
The Museum of Communications, Burntisland, Fife.
Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery, Fife.
McManus Museum & Art Gallery, Dundee.
Central Library, Dundee.
Dundee University Archives.
Artpool, Budapest.
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.
The National Irish Visual Art Library, Dublin.]
Courtesy of The Attic Archive.


  1. I would like permission to publish one of your photos (of me at Forebank 1979) on my website.

    1. Thanks CG very much appreciated. Not a Dundonian proper but went to Dundee in 65 and now live in Newport. Your blog brings back lots of great memories of a great city.