For a new archiving act?

What does it mean to start an archive? The establishment of an archive is a political act. It is an administrative act of what is worth keeping and what is worth throwing away. It is the perfect and most representative machine for the act of remembering and the act of forgetting. It is the external systematization of the act of creating memory. Both acts, remembering and forgetting, establish an ontology of being. They are the exemplary representation of any historical act.

Even when there has been a vast number of critical standpoints against archives and the act of totalitarian mechanism of memory, the act of remembering is important for the construction of every society that pursues a notion of identity. An archive places many dilemmas. On the first hand, it recalls the despotic decision of what is worth and what is not. An all-inclusive archive would be an identical copy of the world, we need archive to manage the valuable. The archive also poses the question for the notions of representation and reproducibility.

How is this ‘valuable’ measured? Could there be an open archive? One that would allow for a non-academic, non-expert view to decide what is there to keep, to be representative? Could we think of an archive with movable categories? Could there be a non-totalitarian approach of the archive, a more vivid and less fetishist approach to the documents? Could the archive establish a different relation between its visitors and the documents? Could the constitution of a self-reflective archive help to prevent (un)representational and authoritarian methods that are common among institutions?



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