Assemblage, filing cabinet, computer, software, plastic, servo motors, CRT monitor (4:3), dot-matrix printer, 1000 pages continuous 90 grs paper, 135x45x125cm.
Archivist 1.0 (2023) is an interactive art installation examining the relationship between time, technology, and human presence, through the exploration of the concept of ruins, metaphysics, and our evolving digital culture. It melds the physical and digital, autonomously searching for and capturing visages of everyone that appears in front of it and transforming them into binary data that’s then printed onto a 300 meter long scroll of paper.
Questions arise such as who has the authority to govern the potential everlasting existence of our digital traces? How are these preserved or extinguished? The procedural aspect of Archivist 1.0 is a manifestation of the broader context of corporate data accumulation, where our data is stored clandestinely and indefinitely without our consent or input.
Contrastingly, the use of paper in the installation underscores the vulnerability of digital media. It signifies the prospect of a “digital dark age”. Data degradation, platform shutdown, or simply losing access through forgotten passwords could result in parts of our digital existence becoming unavailable, misinterpreted, or erased – much like ruins that lose context over time.
Derived from the term “post-digital”, the work advocates a shift from the traditional techno-positivist approach to digital technology. It eradicates distinctions between new and old media, reflecting technology’s pervasive role in contemporary life, changing meanings of words like ‘digital’ and ‘memory’, and the looming possibility of a ‘Digital Dark Age’ due to the lack of secure, permanent digital data solutions. The installation’s post-digital stance aims to reconcile both online and offline, material and immaterial, highlighting shared elements of the past, present, and potential futures.
IMPAKT Festival (2023)
Curation: Ezgi Aktug, Merit Zimmermann