I was recently invited by Laura Forlano to give a talk at IIT’s Institute of Design. My talk was on the concept of preservation and the interconnectedness of memory/history, privacy and the environment.
In four exploratory theoretical gestures (appraise, dispose, hoard, and mediate), I proposes the “archive as dumpster” is a framework for returning to the physical conditions of memory that subverts traditional archival methodologies by insisting on the very material consequences of a culture inculcated in networked digital communications. I make the argument that by posing the archive as a mediatic question (Parikka), we can begin to account more seriously for the ways in which the perceived immateriality and weightlessness of our data have important humanistic, environmental, political, and ethical repercussions. Pitting the archive’s orderly ambitions against the dumpster’s stinking mess reveals a “call of things” (Bennett)—the slow and often distanced process of disposal and waste—to remind us who we are, in and over time, in and out of our bodies, and increasingly under the impression of a dematerialized engagement with our stuff and ourselves.
[img from The Register]