/30 Archive
#30 Archive, Editorial


Memories of the Future

The archive fulfills the fundamental function of conservation, selection and accessibility. All of us then, voluntarily or not, always glean from the personal archive, buried and at rest in the immaterial rooms of our memory. Taking for granted the value of collective expression of a community's cultural memory, art in its best cases is capable of causing short circuits or inspiring reflections.

When did we start to get interested in archives? Why does contemporary photographic research frequently make use of reinterpretation of archival materials? Which roles, meanings and forms has the archive issue assumed in contemporary practice? The results are changeable: from the vernacular to private family albums, from the object trouvé to mixed media.

The risk is to sanctify the memory, contributing to raise the cult wearily. Every act of appropriation has to be potentially a reactive mortgage towards the future. At the same time, the promise of a subsequent transformation that leaves original forms open to combinatorial possibilities. From "original" forms to "other" configurations. A necessary and continuous transcription, an eternal transmigration of data that materializes at a sort of continuous gear of an operating machinery that only apparently self-organizes.

Prigogine's words about the progressive growth of cities bring back to our mind: "The growth of disorder is no longer merely the destruction of order. Under certain conditions it is also a source of new order". Or rather a new order created through a process to achieve a purpose.