[-empyre-] story-time and the archive

monica notebook at justfornow.net
Mon Nov 26 21:39:22 EST 2007

just a last thought before leaviong the list for a week or so:

Tim wrote:
<With the advent of digital archival formats on CD and DVD,  I think 
we kind of lured ourselves into a state of false security, and one 
that too easily overlooked the fundamental premises of "archival 
fever," that the archive itself is something of a speaking/viewing 
event which can approximate if not sometimes even realize ephemeral 
events whose performance were either far more provocative than even 
the creators could have foreseen or performances whose enactment 
framed a conceptual intervention that could only be realized in the 
future via further discursive interaction (in this context, we can 
think of Derrida's citation of the death drive not as something 
purely destructive but as something always activating).

So you've got me thinking that the disquiet we sometimes feel in the 
presence of the digital archive in peril is as much a true concern 
over the vicissitudes of materiality than it is something of a 
retroactive (traumatic) compensation for a more significant concern, 
that of the potential loss or slippage of a prior sensitivity to the 
promise (rather than peril) of ephemerality itself and of the role of 
discourse in carrying it into the future.>

tim's post connects with a recent conversaTion with the 
anarchist-theologian eric jacobson and benjamin's proposition of a 
'secret agreement between the past and the future", and the model of 
the rabbinical tradition of interpretation -as the discursive means 
of communicability between times, which perhaps also links to the 
'fabulation' thread ; reflectivity and the necessity for the ' space 
and time of interpretation' to be left open as the means and agency 
of renewability. .
Re; Norie:
whether you think the digital is more untimely than analogue, in 
relation to performances using voice, for instance, or other art works

this is what i've thought the digital has offerred us as a vast 
horizontal plateau/ prosthesis. not least its organisation around the 
indifference of data rather than the values of representation. one of 
the most positive developments in the '90s being the way its 
particular form of 'untimely-ness' allowed for the return/ renewal 
and development of radical initiatives organised around 
internationalist sharing and communication- as this list- in 
pararallel with the expansion of 'global' capitalism on an 
unprecendeted scale. the image i'm thinking of now is less one of an 
infinite plateau than one of the mosaic as a reflective/ 
interpretative model - but am only at the beginning of this idea.
the whole area of the 'voice' is one i'm very interested in norie- 
one performance i'm doing intermittently at the moment is based on 
the fault lines of tryinmg to learn a text off by heart/ oral 
tradition/ memory and recitation; in this case the declaration of 
human rights. unfortunately i can't write more about this now , but 
maybe i can come back in to ther discussion later if its appropriate.
best for now

Monica Ross
00 44 (0)1273 381480

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