DAS OFFENE ARCHIV.
Struktur zur Anregung und Inspiration. Ein Experiment
CONCEPT AND DESIGN
The concept: Why an archive …
For me, the archive as a medium for inspiration is a lived practice. But would it also be possible to think of it in a much larger and collaborative framework? With digitization and new forms of media and storage, the archive is increasingly leaving its physical frame and thus posing new questions to users and curators. A good starting point to question the burnt-in cliché image of a cabinet with files and folders slowly gathering dust and to try out something new. And how can the beautiful aspects of “rummaging” in an archive be preserved in these newly developing structures?
Can I make use of randomness? Can I build an archive as an inspiration-machine? What happens when I open a collection? The Open Archive is an experiment. It tests an alternative archive structure and is a place of mutual inspiration. I propose this website and a travelling pop-up exhibition for the design of the archive. Each person can upload a creative impulse or creative work into the archive and make it available. In contrast to the classical structures of archives, the archival materials are not ordered here, but are constantly thrown together in a new, random way. This creates a collective, hierarchy-free repository of creative ideas and short impulses. The random linking of previously unrelated things invites inspiration and the creation of new content.
More about the archive …
The traditional archive is in a state of transition. Increasing digitalisation promotes new approaches to order and structures for the preservation of material and information. This development invites us to try out something new. This project plays with the concept of the archive: How can knowledge and the resulting power over collective memory be looked at in a new way?
Existing systems of order tend to reproduce and solidify traditional power structures. Among other things, archives preserve colonial and patriarchal ways of thinking. The rigid classification structures often do not do justice to the archives and sometimes have a distorting and simplifying effect on the different levels of meaning. How can other approaches be found to make archives more democratic and hierarchy-free? Should material and information consequently be sorted into spectrums rather than pigeonholes?
For a democratisation of the archive, the power to make or break connections must be questioned or even reduced to absurdity. Accessibility to archives must be established. The Open Archive should be a stimulus for questioning structures.
The Open Archive forms an infinite space - infinity is also a purely theoretical idea - for the accumulation of things. The overlapping arrangement of the archival materials or just their proximity allows for chance encounters and thus leads to links between archival materials without a presupposed context of meaning. Thus, in the ever-growing structure of the archive, a free space of possible links is created. One can beam and scroll into infinity. The archive is nourished and shaped by the continuous expansion of the archive by every person who wants to contribute.
For inspiration …
The open archive is not about the individual contributions, but about the coincidental connection between the individual archive items. In this way it should serve as a source of inspiration. On the way to an idea, one must give one’s thoughts the leeway to jump openly between themes and find the most impossible connections with little that is tangible. This is about leaving behind habitual thought patterns. At the same time, inspiration is a collective process. Because within the process of collective working, themes often appear more diverse through the thoughts of several people and more valid through the exchange. Based on this exchange, reactions and impulses, short snippets of thoughts are collected in the open archive. The possibility to participate in guided impulses invites to add another inspiration to the archive. Due to the external circumstances - the limited time, the openness to all media and the non-existent sorting - I try to take away everyone’s fear of white paper and trying things out.
The whole picture: The Open Archive…
is meant to represent the combination of these considerations. On the one hand, it is an experiment that is meant to initiate new ways of thinking about archive structures. Furthermore, it is an attempt to find a way to collectively inspire and move forward. It is meant to stimulate more creative processes through short, impulsive and instinctive creative reactions.
For these reasons, the following set of rules for the Open Archive is created:
all contributions are of equal value
access is kept as open as possible
all forms of presentation (media and materials) are allowed
only the processing time of a contribution is given, between 1 min and 55 min
there will always be a reaction to the other contributions.
BACHELORTHESIS supervised by:
Prof. Designer Markus Weisbeck
MA. Katrin Steiger
Dipl. Designer Adrian Palko