How do you inherit someone else’s lifetime work?

In his basement my grandfather, Bo Lindroth, has an extensive archive of art historical slides. It consists of over 20 000 images depicting European art and architecture. I will one day inherit his archive.

To start the process of figuring out what I might one day use his archive for, I created a mathematical system and in that way I had a legible entrance to the archive. I used the same system as I used in the interactive drawing tool project Composition Grid – I used the simple square. Out of six squares you can create 216 different formations. In the mathematical calculation these formation have defining numbers. In my grandfather’s archive the numbers pointed out a specific picture in a specific box of slides. After many visits to his basement, I finally had 216 different slides from the archive. I digitalize the images after which I dissect each one of them. I picked out a detail that interested me. The detail took the same form as the formation of the six squares. And finally I had 216 photographic details.

From the details I composed new entireties. At this point it’s no longer about the specific motives. Everything exists in the same space – the prehistorically cave painting can as well be a 19th century painting. It’s the fragments of memories and thoughts that are left when the meeting with my grandfather has passed. I can’t remember the individual picture anymore – neither the details of my grandfather’s stories. I show the shreds. The fragments.





Besides this project I also made a 20 minute documentary about my grandfather and his archive. In “Bo Lindroth and the Archive of Slides” you’ll learn about some of his photographic trips and inventions. You also get to participate in one of his lectures. He’s still planning lectures, even though he’s 94-years-old.

Click on any of the still images to watch a nine minute version of the documentary.

  • March 25th, 2011