In every jury, tutorial, etc, it seems that people come up to me and ask questions such as, isn’t the archive and the library the same? isn’t the archive life itself? Is the archive a collection?
People! PEOPLE! It’s NOT!
The Archive have a set of various characteristics in the way in which it works!
I am proposing the notion of the archive as a productive method of preservation. To demonstrate the way it works, I need to create this archive of the archive. Its content will be my grains, which are going to be used as examples for archiving. The grains are not artefacts but they are stories (knowledge), which are the items that we seek to archive. For this, I need to introduce some characters which will set the methods and characteristics of the archive.
The main character is me, the archivist, the curator of the archive. The archivist calls the other characters who need to help him in the process of archiving. The first three are:
the GARDENER; he finds and removes the artefacts from its context, unrooting the weeds from the landscape.
the BUTCHER; he takes artefacts and chops them into meaningful cuts.
ANDY; Andy Warhol gets from the butcher all the items and puts them in boxes. Andy has some experience of that from his Time Capsules project.
the ARCHIVIST; he catalogues and puts labels on the boxes.
There are more characters later to come. For now, I am taking each grain through the characters.