[-empyre-] story-time and the archive

timothy murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Sat Nov 24 00:55:49 EST 2007

>Hi, Norie and Monica,

>Your interwoven threads are extremely interesting and directly 
>engage my own sense of archival practice.  I think that Monica is 
>right on the mark when she says "the desire for an event/artwork to 
>have duration is primarily concerned with unconstraining the artwork 
>from its chronological assignment (to become untimely) so that it 
>has the potential to continue to be to communicable within a 
>continuum whose parameters of form and value are not predictable." 
>But I'm not sure that I would strictly contrast that, anymore, with 
>the "desire of preservation" ("to be timeless: unchangeable status 
>quo/monumentalisation / stabilised form and value").  Particularly 
>within the context of planned obselescence and and short shelf lives 
>of recent new media art, I'm wondering whether the event/artwork 
>itself doesn't/shouldn't alter our conceptions of desire so that 
>preservation and event are more interwoven in an ongoing, 
>unpredictable way.

If so, then your combined emphases on storytelling (what Deleuze 
calls "fabulation") becomes all the more important as a crucial 
structural element of the archival process itself (since is also 
something that Mickey pointed us toward via Derrida's Archive Fever). 
This could mean emphasizing the emulation of the events/artworks, 
networks, processes, procedures, and interactions more, say, than the 
reproduction or replication of particular source code, exhibition 
environments, or recording/playing instruments.  Such an emphasis 
would be on the open-endedness of fabulation, a process that grows 
and changes in time, rather than "incontrovertible status of value" 
that drives the work of most museum collections and archives.

Thanks for such stimulating thoughts.



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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