Kennis /

Archive 2020:


— ​Distributed archives, paper content from the past, paper content for the future.
Distributed archives, paper content from the past, paper content for the future.

The web (paradoxically, similarly to a human being) is particularly fond of its own era, and much less of what happened before its birth. Historical events, news, documents and cultural artifacts dating from 1994 to the present are much easier to find than those dating from the mid-1990s: the earlier the worse, and the later the better. It seems that the web increasingly reflects a structure like a the flow of a river, always heading towards its mouth, rather than remembering when and where its source is, when it started to flow or even before that. So even if the late 1990s and 2000s are covered, there is a tangible historical vacuum in the 'net mare' magnum of archived information. And this is evident when you have to do serious research beyond the culture classics. Probably because online giants are aware of this cultural gap, they think that the final establishment of the web's reputation as a trusted medium passes from the migration in the online form of traditional media, and this means by letting people access what they used to trust more: printed stuff. But digitalizing printed sources is a big task, a massive effort in trying to archive printed content and make them available online. It could be seen as the final passage from the printed to the digital form but actually we should ask ourselves: can this be properly defined as 'archiving'?

At the same time, personal and independent archives constitute an invaluable resource for research and the history of specific cultural fields, beginning with media art, much of which still resides in dusty rooms and shelves. Online databases and interfaces would make a big difference in the perception of what has been produced in a 'scene', outside the official references and institutions. /Neural/ magazine's 'archive project' is designed not only to make an online reference of its archive, but also to establish an abstract model that, once applied, shared and networked, will hopefully trigger other archives to emerge and become visible and searchable.

Biography Alessandro Ludovico
Since 1993 Ludovico is a media critic and chief editor of Neural magazine. He is the author of several essays on digital culture, and he co-edited the 'Mag.Net Reader' book series. He is one of the founding contributors of the Nettime community and one of the founders of the Mag.Net (Electronic Cultural Publishers) organization. He was advisor of the Documenta 12 Magazine Project. He is a research fellow at the Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam and teaches at the Academy of Art in Carrara. is a case study presented at Archive 2020.



Facebook comments