[-empyre-] story-time and the archive

Norie Neumark norie5 at mac.com
Wed Nov 21 10:58:59 EST 2007

Hello Monica, and all,
I've been away from the computer again and just catching up... I  
realise you've moved on a bit from here, but would still like to  
respond to this because there's so much here...
On 20/11/2007, at 12:42 AM, monica wrote:

> Hello to everyone on the list,
> this is Monica. first of all thank you to Renate and Tim for  
> inviting me to take part in the discussion. i've been a little slow  
> to join in due to my current recalcitrance about writing  
> 'biography' and therefore in fulfilling Renate and Tim's completely  
> reasonable request to provide one before joining the list.  
> eventually i did manage a paragraph and Renate and Tim also sourced  
> an existing version on the net.... (apologies and thanks here on  
> both counts).
> although reluctant to divert the ongoing discussion by introducing  
> a further topic i thought i'd just mention this difficulty in  
> "reading oneself (or anything else) backwards' - as Benjamin  
> describes autobiography in One Way Street -in case its an issue  
> anyone else would like to discuss in terms of the biographical  
> entry and the archive.
> There are two other related aspects - at least- of the discussion  
> which i 'd like to pick up on:  the figure of the storyteller and  
> processes of storytelling which Norie introduced in an early post -  
> embodied, rather than representationally or technologically  
> configured means of reproducing past experience or events in the  
> present -  and suggestions that the internet is, or provides, a  
> renewed space for "oral tradition".
> 'story telling', it seems to me might be said to have a similar  
> relationship to the material archive as performance art does to  
> some forms of its documentation, or the 'hearsay' of an event to  
> its authorised evidence. what interests me about the paradigm of  
> storytelling, in relation to the archive, is that its structures of  
> re-making are less concerned with accurate replication /  
> verification of an original 'something' than with transmitting the  
> experience of that 'something' in the now in which the 'story' is  
> told and encountered. If the archive can be thought of as a  
> repository then perhaps the 'story ' is more like an ark with the  
> ability to travel, and carry both teller, listeners and readers,  
> into expanded experiences of time which do not collapse it into  
> partisan chronologies
this is all really interesting. i like your figure of story as ark,  
both for its play on the arc of the narrative and for the  
foregrounding of the invitation to travel... that story telling can  
offer.The way of thinking about the relation of the ark to the  
repository, story to archive,  seems to tie in with Mickey's points  
(Nov 18):
>>  But here too I think about power, the constraints that make the  
>> performative 'readable' / meaningful / "felicitous" in the first  
>> place, and what makes a particular performative act desirable to  
>> us, why we gravitate to it, what kinds of vibrational resonance  
>> (to continue the energy metaphor-or-is-it-) we seek out and why...
I think Tim takes this up too, in his response to this post...
> What also interests me about the 'storytelling'  paradigm is the  
> productive use of the absence or loss of the original that it makes  
> in converting this lack of an object into a renewed space of  
> production and reproduction, and a kind of  fearlessness about  
> reproducing the past quite permissively.
What do you think about the role of voice in this "productive use of  
the absence or loss of the orignal". Somehow it's as if having the  
'same' voice of the storyteller enables this...And also this inflects  
the storyteller's voice, playing with but revealing its own  
impossible authenticity?
> - additively/ contradictorily as it passes from one person and  
> 'time' to another, prioritising communication over replication or  
> concerns about authenticity or definitive representation. i.e. the  
> way in which its forms allow for a repetitiveness that tends away  
> from the constraints of duplication towards transformation.
this repetitiveness that tends away from duplication also ties in  
with something Mickey said in relation to Derrida in that same post?:
>> D. also describes the (present) moment of archivization as a  
>> virtual moment, a moment of play between the opposing desires to  
>> simply repeat the archive, on the one hand, and to obliterate it  
>> completely, on the other

> So i've also been interested in the parts of the discussion  which  
> have touched on 'time' and the digital  as potentially  'timeless'.  
> When i first started to try and write about the relation of  
> embodied experience/ performance/ time-based works to either their  
> aftermath as documentation or their correlation and prolongation in  
> other media, i frequently used 'timelessness' to describe the non- 
> chronological potential of the internet as archive. But what i'd  
> like to propose now is that re-thinking this 'time' as being  
> 'untimely' rather than 'timeless', may be more productive.
> monica
can you say more about this... how "untimely" may be more productive?  
(intuitively I agree but would like to know more how you got to this  
place in your thinking... and where you think 'untimely' could take us)

i realise you've discussed this a bit in your next post, relating  
'permisiveness' to untimely-ness (which i'm permitting myself to copy  
out of your next post -- i'll make it green to signal it's  
'untimeliness' here):
>> what i want to suggest about the time of 'the-digital-archival- 
>> event' is that its 'permissiveness' comes from a capacity for  
>> 'untimely-ness' rather than  'timelessness'. as e.g. in  
>> technically substituting for, and expanding, hearsay/ oral  
>> tradition/ word of mouth/, radio and sound recording permitted us  
>> to become accustomed to the uncanny experience of the voice as  
>> disembodied and the 'untimely' event of being able to hear dead  
>> people singing.
>> it's the ways in which art makes use of 'untimely-ness' as  
>> intervention,    whether as an embodied action/ event or the ways  
>> in which the media/data of its   continuations reveals other  
>> continuums, that interests me... which could maybe take into us  
>> the accident part of the discussion
but i'd still be really interested in hearing more... about the above  
too... examples??


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