The Archive

A definition: A collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people: a section of archive film

Exploring archived footage has allowed me to enter into a collection of private and public memories. I navigate an archive by searching for one word, and then exploring the footage connected with that one word. Video footage archiving, and video footage in general, call up interesting questions of memory in contemporary society. Archives of footage act as an external store of memories, memories that can be replayed, reused, re-contextualized and shared. The footage seems to float away from its original context and behaves as little more than an obscure trace. Exploring archives, I am beginning to see a sort of vulnerability in them, where private and public space merge together with little distinction. This is particularly the case with ‘family film’ footage, personal clips shared that when collected in an archive, find themselves being viewed objectively by someone they were never intended for.

The rich sets of narratives available in an archive is appealing to me, and I am interested in how I can use these to develop my own constructed narratives (experimenting with different forms of this). Each video clip has an intention and context, which when removed, sits quite absurdly. I am interested in how removing something from this intended context and placing it within a new context can influence meaning, and how this process acts as an image for the wider development of meaning (or lack thereof) that can be seen to exist within postmodernism.






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