Between Light and Dark Archiving

Book chapter


Dekker, A. (2019). Between Light and Dark Archiving. in: Hoth, J. and Wandl-Vogt, E. (ed.) Digital Art through the Looking Glass. New Strategies for Archiving, Collecting and Preserving in Digital Humanities Edition Donau-Universität.
AuthorsDekker, A.
EditorsHoth, J. and Wandl-Vogt, E.
Abstract

Some people argue that the digital archive is an oxymoron (Laermans and Gielen 2007) or more akin to an anarchive (Ernst 2015, Zielinski 2014).
Derrida used the word anarchive to signal that “what remains unvanquished remains associated with the anarchi.” Ernst relates it to the digital archive and describes the anarchive as something that cannot be ordered or catalogued because it is constantly re-used, circulated, and expanding, and thus only a metaphorical archive. Similarly, Foster describes
how the anarchival is about obscure traces rather than absolute origins, emphasising the incomplete, which may offer openings to new interpretation, or ‘points of departure’ as mentioned by Foster (2004). These various descriptions imply that digital archives, and in particular Web-based
archives, function less as a storage space and more as a recycling centre in which the material (the archival document, if one can still use this term) is dynamic. In other words, the default state of the digital archive is re-use instead of storage, circulation rather than centrally organised memory, constant change versus stasis. How to capture and retrieve all this data, information and documentation, but more importantly, in what way does
archiving take place on the Web? In what follows I examine projects by artists who in various ways explore the challenges of online archiving.
These examples show how information and data is captured and archived on the Web. In particular, how it becomes a networked environment, or performance space characterised by the transition from objects to processes. This new situation, I argue, means moving between dark and light archiving, and it’s the place where a new method of networked coarchiving emerges.

Year2019
Book titleDigital Art through the Looking Glass. New Strategies for Archiving, Collecting and Preserving in Digital Humanities
PublisherEdition Donau-Universität
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Print2019
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Deposited10 Nov 2020
Web address (URL)https://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/artdok/6566/
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