[-empyre-] future anterior

timothy murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Sat Nov 17 14:27:59 EST 2007

Hey, Mickey,

Thanks for your very helpful post on Derrida's Archive Fever.  I'm 
also extremely interested in the performativity of the archival 
future anterior, particularly in relation to interactive data and 
speech works, such the virtual speaking heads of Ken Feingold, Lynn 
Hershman's bots, Stelarc's head, or other database driven works such 
as David Rokeby's n-chant.  All of these pieces grow in relation to 
their interaction with users vis speech recognition software in a way 
that makes the artwork itself dependent on the future anterior of the 
archive.  In almost all of these cases, the artwork becomes more 
sophisticated in time (AI) as it grows with human interaction, or 
develops the complexity of its own database by mixing aural signals 
received from users.  To my mind, this alters the ontology of both 
the archive and the work of art in fundamental ways since the closed 
system of its past creation is inextricably imploded by its 
structural waiting on (attendance) the future.

To a certain degree, these works provide a linkage between "the death 
drive" and "memory loss" since the initial core artifact becomes 
unrecognizable through time (except in the most outward senses of 
form), with the exception that memory itself, rather than being 
entropic, become somewhat amoebic, growing or morphing in and out of 
sync with the technosphere.

Sounds like you and I should sit down for a long chat about this soon!

Thanks for leading us in so many directions this week. I'm looking 
forward to seeing how the conversation morphs through the weekend 
before Renate and I introduce our next guest on Sunday, Monica Ross.

Timothy Murray
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Director of Graduate Studies in Film and Video
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
285 Goldwin Smith Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York  14853

office: 607-255-4086
e-mail: tcm1 at cornell.edu

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