Memory, Images, History
Sunday, September 13, 2009
By Jan Christopher Horak, UCLA Film & Television Archive
According to Michael Foucault, the totality of intellectual activity over time within a given culture constitutes the archive of human knowledge. The archive in the real world gathers together in physical form the articulations of our culture, whether books, papers, films, video, art objects, and all other accumulations of human labor. Archives generate history.
Archive, libraries, and museums, then, have always been somewhat sacred places where we go to find the raw data for historical inquiry, where (re)searchers study and examine objects to seek the truth.
The creation of the internet, however, has changed all that. With each passing day, more and more objects are being digitized, knowledge from the physical world is losing its corporality. The Archive is now virtual, rather than physical.
The question is, how does knowledge change in cyberspace?