[-empyre-] forward from Grace Quintanilla <egraceqc@yahoo.com>

timothy murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Mon Nov 26 12:06:46 EST 2007

Hi I want to thank very much Tim and Renate for their introduction. I 
am very honoured to participate in this think tank that has been food 
for thought to me. I must apologize for my silence in the past weeks. 
I have been thrilled by some of the topics and deep, thoughtful 
concepts arisen during this month.

You see, I am a very empirical artist, and I say this with a bit of 
guilt because I am aware of the fact that the current trend in 
contemporary art practices is to achieve in the production process a 
balanced compromise between a theoretical conceptualization  and the 
prime impulse of just...... creating.

My statement is about this process and the conception of  "real time 
archiving" risen by it.  Although the theme of memory (mainly 
projected through the re-creation of family mythology) is obsessively 
recurrent in my work, I find intriguing the contradiction to discover 
myself reluctant to record daily events such as normal life at home, 
family parties or my children's school events. Somehow, I feel that 
if I am recording an event, I suffer a  kind of disembodiment; I stop 
being a participant, to become an observer; an observer whose gaze is 
transformed when getting conscious of the historical importance of 
any given everyday-life event. In this capturing moment, the artist's 
body and its person, is converted into an intelligent lens through 
which reality is translated directly into a digital archive, and 
automatically transformed  into a memorable event
in real time.

But what is memorable?, or what makes something memorable? Questions 
like this refer me to the untimely nature (thank you Monica =for your 
thoughts about untimeliness) of our conscience of historicity. And I 
think that digital technology indeed makes us rely on its capability 
of archiving information (and also of the interpretation of that 
information),whose historical meaning and memorability are not 
necessarily decisive at the time they are captured. The simple fact 
that they can be archived, gives us reliance in their precocious 

To me this relates to the confident reliance on the expanse of 
virtual memory, data bases, and archives that Tim wrote in his 
initial statement. And that reliance is perhaps what makes me 
reluctant to archive in real time. That is, giving into the pressure 
of the speed imposed by digital technology. I consider Real time 
archiving is not just the act of recording or compiling the 
information, but the manner in which that action is embraced. The 
problem I find with digital technology is the danger of falling into 
a process of substitution rather than a process of reliance.

Projects that have been mentioned before like the Long Now Project 
and Suzie Triester's work, have different approaches to both, 
resistance and play with the possibilities of digital technology as a 
vehicle to transform time and history, and therefore memory.

Somehow, being aware of ways to perform the processual real- time 
archiving is a sort of instinctive rebellion; a way to endure 
willpower, to grant interpretation the time it needs to make an event 
meaningful, and be able to unveil the memorable, whatever time it 
takes to be recognized as such.


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