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Horobin, Peter (artist)



  • Existence: b 1949.


Pete Horobin began his habit of meticulous self-documentation in 1975, after graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee that same year. His initial experiments took the form of small boxes filled each month and sealed – not to be reopened until some time in the future. These boxes, long since destroyed, contained ephemera, packaging and personal notes. After returning from a hitchhiking journey to France in 1977 he commenced a project entitled The Accessibility of the Art Object, which distributed collaged postcards randomly through the post and small products, such as badges books and collages, through Scottish art galleries. These products were sold for as little as 50 pence up to a few pounds. The Accessibility of the Art Object prompted a short-lived grouping with other artists collectively known as Visual Arts Promotions. In 1979 Horobin initiated Junk Into Art/Art Into Junk, a large-scale collective recycling of waste materials, realised in collaboration with the Dundee Group Artists (Ltd) based in Forebank Studios. Participating artists came from Scotland and Paris, where Horobin had met an artists’ run collective called Cairn. The documentation of the Dundee event was later exhibited in Cairn’s space in Paris. Both of the above projects were carefully documented and are now held in Dundee University Archives. At the end of 1979 Horobin turned 30 a conscious ageing which precipitated a 10-year artwork, DATA – Daily Action Time Archive – 01.01.1980 to 31.12.1989. DATA has been referred to as a self historification project; it may also be described as a large bookwork comprising many chapters, that is an artwork which is the sum of its many parts. During this intense period Horobin became involved in the mailart movement and an international grouping of artists styled as the neoists. From 1971 Horobin had been based in the attic at 37 Union Street, Dundee, and as his documentation process gathered momentum and continued growing exponentially he began to refer to his space as The DATA Attic – a repository for his DATA and earlier documented projects, as well as all his correspondence and collaborations with other artists. When DATA came to an end the life of Pete Horobin was terminated. DATA was catalogued and the resulting A4 document of 373 pages, listing over 10,000 items, was self-published. Copies are archived in The National Library of Scotland, Dundee University Archives, and Artpool in Budapest. The end of DATA and the death of Pete Horobin did not however bring documenting and archiving to a conclusion – both activities persisted energetically. Accordingly the remit of The DATA Attic expanded to encompass new artworks and projects, therefore it became necessary to consider the domestic studio space as The Attic Archive, which through time contained 3 10-year artworks plus all associated correspondence, publications, ephemera and packaging. In addition objects from Horobin’s childhood and adolescence were also archived along with many student paintings and drawings. Each of the 3 10-year artworks was made by a different personality, these being – Pete Horobin, Marshall Anderson, and Peter Haining.

In 2010 it became imperative to sell the attic at 37 Union Street and therefore to find a way of resolving the relocation of its contents. No Scottish art established was willing to take responsibility for the whole so the Attic Archive was split into several parts which were distributed through the following archives, libraries, and museums – The National Library of Scotland, Dundee University Archives, The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Artpool in Budapest, The National Irish Visual Art Library in Dublin. McManus in Dundee, Perth Museum and Art Gallery, Kirkclady Museum and Art Gallery, The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, The National Museum in Edinburgh, The Museum of Communication in Burntisland, and The Shoe Museum in Manchester.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Papers, mostly of Marshall Anderson, from the Attic Archive, Dundee.

Identifier: Acc.13227 Box 1-Box 51(19)
Scope and Contents The Attic Archive evolved organically from the activities of Pete Horobin, beginning in 1978. When Horobin's association ended, the archive was continued in turn by Marshall Anderson, Peter Haining and, lastly, aitch. Each change of custody coincided with the start of a new phase of activity, each phase undertaken, usually, over ten years.The papers of the Attic Archive are now dispersed through various cultural institutions, each having a particular association with the archive,...
Dates: Circa 1980-2010.