brief note on Ernst

Although the traditional archive used to be a rather static memory, the notion of the archive in Internet communication tends to move the archive toward an economy of circulation: permanent tranformations and updating. The so-called cyberspace is not primarily about memory as cultural record but rather about a performantive form of memory as communication. Within this economy of permanent recycling of information, there is less need for emphatic but short-term, updatable memory, which comes close to the operative storage management in the von Neumann architecture of computing. Repositories are no longer final destinations but turn into frequently accessed sites. Archives become cybernetic systems. The aesthetics of fixed order is being replaced by permanent reconfigurability.

Wolfgang Ernst. “Archives in Transition.” Digital Memory and the Archive.

I was reading this and remembering Kevin Kelly’s idea of movage, and the idea of relay supporting archives from Janée et al. I really like the way Ernst works this idea into the way the Internet works, and the ways that the Web transforms the archival function. I’m only half way through the book, and will likely have more to say when I do, so just taking some notes for myself, carry on…

Leave a Reply