Di., 3. Juni 3000

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Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:09:01 +0100
From: Matze Schmidt <>
To: "geert lovink" <geert>
CC: Nettime-l <nettime-l>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Interview with German media archeologist Wolfgang Ernst

thanx! for this interview,

some questions and common-places:

Why is "the emphatic notion of the "archive" [...] dissolving into
electronic circuits" ("rhizoming") when this "permanent transfer" is happening "without
undoing storage, though" ? is code & signals in an electromagnetically
environment virtual? we believe in it. but if "dissolving" then it is also
de-dissolving and coming out again. humans must and like to open the strange grey and
beige packages to read.

ok, thesis is: the storage has no place, no
room, no space (anymore) in the sense of res extensa, but it's a mapping and
a context (the problem with the rhizome is maybe another story, the
noteboxes of Luhmann another one). storage and retrieval are netbased-processes
(Esposito*) without
being what one could call in german "reell" (physical, material effective),
but they are "real" (psychological, mental effective). but is this "Immateriality"? and
if: what or who works on it, or in it if it's a social machine? without
asking what the _work_ or the 'motor' is here, who or what is doing the storage, the archives are really dissolving into a
sphere of pure transcendence or Geist of Idealism without any determination outside
itself, just autopoetic, cybernetic in itself. the origin title of the
books says "Das Rumoren der Archive", translated: »The Rumbling Of The
Archives«, Rumoren means in german also 'make noise by doing something like looking for
something', an a-systematically searching. if archives ARE rumoring, if
they have a noun as a verb, they
produce kinds of memes (rumors, the sound of communication) like:
something is going throug the archives. so the translation from Geert
Lovink "Archive Rumblings" has to be read as selforganisation of archives
as environments in which people (finders/searchers) are positioned.

but if "The simple fact is that archives do not only exist in metaphorical ways as described by Foucault and
Derrida, but as part of a very real, very material network of power over
memory", why - as a matter of policy of theory - do they have to be "data flow" and "dissolve into" something
("electronic circuits") when they are a subject of power? is this then "The cultural burden of giving sense
to data [here: processed+stored stories of archives] through narrative structures" which "is not easy
to overcome."? - the trap of metaphor, the non-mathematical tell of the
_how?_). or the simple next step is this
task: if the net machine (similar to Kittler's writing machines, writing
systems) has power
now look what's happening in these electronic circuits and in their
genesis, open them to deconstruct their powers (media
discurse analysis) and build new ones (tech-art). this keeps me thinking
on that this subject of power in history is not just machine, free from
lines of theory, this so called new subject of history, is the (allright!) product of a storing his-story of a storytelling school, which has to be recycled (why?) ... in spam lists for example (why not?).

> In his 2002 book 'Das Rumoren der Archive' (Archive Rumblings)

> The simple fact is that
> archives do not only exist in metaphorical ways as described by Foucault and
> Derrida, but as part of a very real, very material network of power over
> memory.

> The cultural burden of giving sense to data
> through narrative structures is not easy to overcome.

> My media analysis
> tells me that the future cultural emphasis will be rather on permanent
> transfer, not storage (without undoing storage, though).

> In a way, of course, this
> means the disappearance of the emphatic notion of the "archive"; it
> dissolves into electronic circuits, data flow.


* Elena Esposito. _Soziales Vergessen: Formen und Medien des
Gedaechtnisses der Gesellschaft_. Frankfurt am Main: suhrkamp, 2002.

> <nettime> Interview with German media archeologist Wolfgang Ernst. nettime mailing lists, nettime-l archive

Calendar for year 3000
Last modified: Mo., 07.07.2003 10:40