[-empyre-] "Archiving New Media Art: Ephemerality, and/or Sustainability." translation approach

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Sun Oct 3 07:21:40 EST 2010

dear all;

may I raise a couple of questions, directed at some issues that were brought up in the beginning, when Vanina and Claudia spoke so eloquently about their work with archiving / writing, and here I want to address the writing (blog / & online digital processes,   to some extent I am thinking here of a live-document-hypernotational creative research site such as "Synchronous Objects" [http://synchronousobjects.osu.edu/] where choreographic process is turned into a polyphonous new artifact or reflection - creation);  first of all, in regard to what Claudia called the "weak archive"  

<<When I talked about Ludion as a "weak archive" (maybe a "soft archive" would be another way of saying it), I was thinking on these kind of projects which can contribute from other points of view to the
"documenting/conserving/archiving" issue. In Ludion's case, while the main goal is to produce a space of critical reflection, we also want to contribute to gather information or to make visible some type of texts -like
art manifestos- which we consider important to understand how different perspectives on the art/technology scenery have been developing during the last hundred years. We also intend to make visible the history of this
scenery in our countries.........     how the blog/website has ended up playing a more crucial role in both Taxonomedia and Ludion practices, I can say that at least in our case, as we only put Ludion on line last
December, we are in fact beginning to be aware -in a way may be we couldn't really imagine before- of how the website itself make us to reconsider many things not only in practical terms but even theoretically.>> [Claudia on 09/18]

and then want to connect this on to "workshop productions" as a form of transcultural modular exchange of practices, knowledge, methods, organization and (self)-documentation which, when coupled with the writing /blog that is published, becomes an archival living process of a sort,. and here i wish to ask how others feel about that. its effect? its reason for being, its obvious ephemerality and also its underlying impact which is sustained, i very strongly believe (since the practices are passed on, utilized, transformed..........)

How can blogs be archives? and how do they work as archives?  
can workshops be productive (afterwards) also in terms of being living archives, documented and conserved? is there a need to conserve workshop productions?

I refer you to Ricardo' post (09/27) where he speaks of the Amauta project in Cusco that he was part of, and he mentions the important workshops that were arranged then, and how they contributed to the development of intermedia practices, use of resources, and methods, etc.  It's great that the website is alive still, and its content accessible in spanish and english (Proyecto AMAUTA:  http://www.amautaproject.org/).

Surely many of you have been involved in workshops, whether artistic or, if this is your main interest,  documentarian and technical, say a workshop on best practices in video or digital documentation, software or web design workshops, hacking conferences, performance workshops, and so on. Like conferences,  they come and go,  thousands happen, and so do the modules and classes in universities and schools (the latter of course not quite documented in the same way as a museum will now document its exhibitions and collections.  But teaching is interesting to archive, no?   and theatre, one would think, such a main cultural form, for so long? how come so few archives? No digital archive of our theatre productions?  A friend just wrote to a british theatre librarian to inquire about it, and was told that

 <<  The British Library does document some performances on video but these tend to be studio scale pieces and probably not the 'plays proper' you seek. We do have a substantial collection of audio recordings made at the National   Theatre, RSC, etc., but not video. There is some collection information on the British Library web site here: http://www.bl.uk/dramasound
You may be interested in the Nation Video Archive of Performance, which is administered by the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. I should think this is more the sort of material you have in mind. Details here:
http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/thatre_performance/video/video-archive/index.html >>

The Digital Performance Archive, once based in Nottingham Trent Univ, was shelved, and the Live Art Dept then dissolved,  and what is left of it is called, i heard, DRIP-DROP.   drip-drop?   
(http://www.bristol.ac.uk/theatrecollection/liveart/liveart_DPA.html).  well DRIP-DROP apparently means Digital Resources In Performance – Digital Resources On Performance’,  and the archive is from 1990-2000.  and then?

So I wanted to ask Ricardo and others here whether it is worthwhile to devote time to blogs and the writing of workshops that will be disappeared, hidden, forgotten perhaps and minimized in effect, once we as participants all move on to make artworks or new performances.   I directed one such workshops this summer, at EMPAC in upstate New York, and it was the first Live-Media+Performance lab there, and we documented it fully, and there are photographs and films, and multiple versions of films and the software patches we created for the interactive environments,  from the workshop productions or experimentations;   furthermore, a blog is being written and continued.  But who cares, and who ever would stumble on this site, and take a minute to see whether information or critical reflection is relevant, and to whom and why. so is a workshop preservable?   



Johannes Birringer
dap lab

More information about the empyre mailing list