[-empyre-] Re: Memory/Archive

simon swht at clear.net.nz
Tue Nov 20 19:30:17 EST 2007

Cara Walz wrote:
> The product, document, or archive, preserved for the future in some 
> tangible form of media may indeed be falling away due to the 
> internet-based glut in the economy of representation. But I agree with 
> Mickey, that this is not an inevitable human condition or necessary 
> consequence of abstraction.
> Is there a way to rethink the notion of what a product is, within the 
> context of the inevitable dominance of digital communication? This 
> digest, I think, in and of itself, functions almost like Agrippa, but 
> for those who share in the discourse a connection occurs, almost in 
> real time, and so one cannot discount it as entirely ephemeral. It 
> flows like a river or a wind current instead of like a clock or 
> annual, but it still has a tangible form.
> The Situationist in me longs for digital visual communication that 
> echoes this type of form: An internet-based digital 'product' that is, 
> essentially, a constant stream of visual imagery submitted by 
> anonymous visionaries from across the globe. In a small tribe, one 
> could go directly to one's shaman/visionary and gain perspective on a 
> problem. This could be a visit to a website instead of sacred ground, 
> where one could watch the stream flow, meditate on it and hopefully 
> gain some perspective. All the cellphone maniacs could have a place to 
> send their imagery as well as any other soul who wants to capture some 
> snippet of lived experience regardless of the media used (as long as 
> it could be translated into html, of course.) Limited editing would 
> occur, just enough to keep it from being another YouTube (Is that 
> possible?). A living, streaming visual archive? One can dream...
and in view of the febrile archivist's distinction between story-telling 
and laying down in bay between the sheets. For there obtains here also 
the role of lodging certain things, shiny things, inside the labyrinth 
of the ear in order to assume the position of authority necessary to 
vouchsafe those seeking access to such things, a role that has been 
gendered, a speaking role. A pecking order for those with their beaks in 
your ear.

What I would like to ask is at what point, either by the art of the 
archivist - or is that wit? - or by dint of lack of storytelling 
technique - or is that tactic? - can one say that what has been held 
over is dead, a sack of images, a rigid and desirable representation? 
dead so that we might want to mourn its passing. Well, do we mourn an 

At what point let go? (For example, the archive that contains art which 
is not kept because no one but the academic has any use for it.)

simon taylor

More information about the empyre mailing list