Lost and Living (in) Archives

Published on September 12th, 2017

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Lost and Living (in) Archives. Collectively Shaping New Memories

On the changing role of archives in the digital age
Do ‘Living Archives’ provide a space for erased, forgotten, neglected and new memories?

Editor: Annet Dekker
Design: Template Studio
Publisher: Valiz, Making Public

2017 | supported by Creative Industries Fund, NL & Piet Zwart Institute: Media Design, Rotterdam | paperback | 288 pp. | 22 x 17 cm (h x w) | English | ISBN 978-94-92095-26-8


Reviewed by Aurelio Cianciotta in Neural
“The three sections altogether cover the most compelling issues: the still entangled relationship between analogue and digital, the lost content and the performed one, considerably rendering the dynamics of archiving within screens.”


Archives are collections of records that are preserved for historical, cultural and evidentiary purposes. As such, archives are considered as sites of a past, places that contain traces of a collective memory of a nation, a people or a group. Digital archives have changed from stable entities into flexible systems, at times referred to with the term ‘Living Archives’. In which ways has this change affected our relationship to the past? Will the erased, forgotten and neglected be redeemed, and new memories be allowed? Will the fictional versus factual mode of archiving offer the democracy that the public domain implies, or is it another way for public instruments of power to operate? Lost and Living (in) Archives shows that archives are not simply a recording, a reflection, or an image of an event, but that it shapes the event itself and thus influences both the past, present and future.

Contributors: Babak Afrassiabi, Dušan Barok, Tina Bastajian, Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, Özge Çelikaslan, Annet Dekker, Olia Lialina, Manu Luksch, Nicolas Malevé, Aymeric Mansoux, Michael Murtaugh, Josien Pieterse, Ellef Prestsæter, Robert Sakrowski, Stef Scagliola, Katrina Sluis, Femke Snelting, Igor Štromajer, Nasrin Tabatabai

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