Mapping the Everyday
240 pp., 7 x 9 in, 56 b&w illus.
- Published: November 25, 2016
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Published: November 18, 2016
- Publisher: The MIT Press
How the archive evolved to include new technologies, practices, and media, and how it became the apparatus through which we map the everyday.
In Archive Everything, Gabriella Giannachi traces the evolution of the archive into the apparatus through which we map the everyday. The archive, traditionally a body of documents or a site for the preservation of documents, changed over the centuries to encompass, often concurrently, a broad but interrelated number of practices not traditionally considered as archival. Archives now consist of not only documents and sites but also artworks, installations, museums, social media platforms, and mediated and mixed reality environments. Giannachi tracks the evolution of these diverse archival practices across the centuries.
Archives today offer a multiplicity of viewing platforms to replay the past, capture the present, and map our presence. Giannachi uses archaeological practices to explore all the layers of the archive, analyzing Lynn Hershman Leeson's !Women Art Revolution project, a digital archive of feminist artists. She considers the archive as a memory laboratory, with case studies that include visitors' encounters with archival materials in the Jewish Museum in Berlin. She discusses the importance of participatory archiving, examining the “multimedia roadshow” Digital Diaspora Family Reunion as an example. She explores the use of the archive in works that express the relationship between ourselves and our environment, citing Andy Warhol and Ant Farm, among others. And she looks at the transmission of the archive through the body in performance, bioart, and database artworks, closing with a detailed analysis of Lynn Hershman Leeson's Infinity Engine.
The future of art archiving and its impact on us—a great read.
Oliver Grau, Chair Professor for Image Science, Danube University
A superb book. The archive is everywhere—information storage, manipulation, retrieval and access, ways of dealing with memories personal and cultural, at the heart of senses of self as well as systems of regulation and control. Tracing the deep history of archival practices through the lens of a series of provocative works in contemporary art, this book offers sharp focus on a pervasive and growing aspect of everyday experience. As the world becomes an Internet of everything, this is an original and powerful statement about something that matters to us all.
Michael Shanks, Professor, Stanford University
Insightful and thought provoking. Giannachi's book appeals equally to information professionals facing the deluge of digital artifacts in modern digital archives and to those inquisitively searching for meaning of history, art, identity, and social engagements in our digital era. Promoting an archive apparatus that 'we want to be produced by,' Giannachi renews our sense of empowerment and connection with the very process that captures our present and makes it an integral part of our future. She makes superbly flowing arguments, interweaving scholarly frameworks with rich examples of past and contemporary practices. Her book offers a soothing canvas for the unfolding drama as, on one side, we combat a digital amnesia due to technology obsolescence and, on the other, seek to rebalance social values within a digital economy, concerned with personal digital footprints, digital identity, and the right to be forgotten.
Natasa Milic-Frayling, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom