Fwd: Re: Archive (15) Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson: Transductions
Duration: 00:23:00; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 213.136; Saturation: 0.111; Lightness: 0.091; Volume: 0.123; Cuts per Minute: 0.521; Words per Minute: 119.972
AS: Let's go on with the program. Apologies for the delay. A computer blew up on this table and stopped working and so on. But we are now delighted to welcome Silvia and Graeme who also have a session with us in the afternoon which we'll try to introduce at that point, which is called Cinema Tarot. But this afternoon now they are going to tell us about their own quite special intervention into all the groups that were involved in the first workshop. So, I'll let them take it away and welcoming Graeme back who was sick yesterday and we couldn't do this which was originally slotted for yesterday morning. So, Graeme and Silvia welcome and cheers.
S: Hello, yesterday we were missing Graeme and today we're missing a machine. But we've got other machines and assemblages. So, today we are going to talk about Transductions, revisiting the 10 Theses of the Archive. So, yesterday we had a reading of the 10 theses so we're going back to them. So, I am just going to introduce briefly ourselves. I am Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson. He's Graeme Thomson. And we are filmmakers and the films that we have made in the last few year ago have been engaging with archives. So, we are very excited about being here and having done this collective week together and the working on the archive as a site of production. And because the archive as a site of production for us asks the question of what kind of production may be pertinent to archiving materials.
S: So, we just want to go through 3 or 4 concepts that we want to share with you today. The first is the idea of time, perhaps because considering production and archive we should think of a work that is never complete or that never becomes an object. And then there is the question of production itself and we can think about a constant tension between the idea of production and the idea of non-production.
S: Another term that is quite important for us is the question of unmaking and the tension of making and unmaking. So, in this sense making for us would in this context of the archive as site of production be a kind of unmaking, an undoing of the structure elements of the archive that have the tendency to over-code or to rigidify.
S: Then there is the question of use. We can talk about making use of the archive, this connects to the project that we propose for this week of rethinking the 10 theses. So, for this week basically what we were thinking about was to restart from the 10 theses that were written by some of the members of a camp in Beirut in 2010. That was the period when it was quite a while after the creation of 0xdb. It was when pad.ma was still we can say in its infancy. Indiancine.ma was not yet born. And its the 10 these' attempt to theorise a concept of the archive that also addresses the challenges and the possibilities of the digital. And therefore, we can say that its projected towards what Blanchot would called the archive to come.
S: So, what we thought it could be interesting during this week was to expand the theses into our potential space, into a processial(?) space where the theses could also become exchanges, they could become conversations, they could be rethought, revisited, prolonged - now that there are also other archives that were not present yet in Beirut and notably 858.ma and Bak.ma. And to try an exercise of what we can call transduction. And maybe Graeme you can go into very briefly the idea of transduction.
G: We talk about the idea of going from concepts, because the 10 theses of the archive are full of concepts, conceptional statements, and to relate these concepts or even transduce these concepts in terms of images. The transduction involves a kind of passage of a kind of bacterial passage if you like, a passage of a virus that moves from one entity to another. So here the idea is to move the concept into the image. And this also means a change of energy level. So, the concept changes its energy level as it enters an image.
G: We could call this also something I think somebody Kaya yesterday presented something about annotation using images to annotate text as opposed to text annotating images. But this annotation of images is interesting because as we will see the relation that opens - that an image opens up with the concept also opens up a number of questions that complexifies the original concept. And this is what we are going to look at now.
G: So, the first thesis is "don't wait for the archive". I'll just read the first paragraph because we just focus on a little bit of each thesis - they are actually quite long and very complex and actually to do this work would take probably atleast a year. So, we just started at this time. Actually also this presentation is very very preliminary, its just a kind of, almost a kind of a sketch of a methodology, so bear with us.
S: So, I just want to say that some of the images we're presenting, that translation from concepts into images and back are actually coming from the collectives that were at CAMP this week. So, we are just presenting ideas that came from everybody. So,its the fruit of collective work and conversations and desires and lines of flight.
G: But there were some images from 858 which we will not be able to show. We will just have to try to describe them and to...
S: So, let's jump into it.
G: Right so the first paragraph of don't wait for the archive: "Do not wait for the archive is often a practical response to the absence of archives or organised collections in many parts of the world."
It also suggests that to wait for the state archive or to otherwise wait to be archived may not be a healthy option. So, here what we're looking at was the question of waiting - and not just in terms of waiting for the archive. What is in essence the archive's relationship to waiting? What is it that waits in the archive? What is it that can't wait in the archive? What is it that we could say is prepared to wait and what is it that prepares in waiting?
G: So, in the case of the first images we saw, we have from Chantal Akerman's D'est the idea of waiting for a train that never arrives. And then in a piece which was made in the sense of Bak.ma archive which was taken from an installation using some Angelopolis(?) films, the idea of waiting on a train that never moves.
G: So, there is also a relationship here between waiting, the space of waiting. Waiting on a train that never moves is also in a sense... the transit in a kind of homeless and a dwelling, a homeless dwelling. And then the third image was from the Afghan film archives...
Pad.ma thesis1 clips:
Afghan Film Archives clip
Riding through Kabul in 2012 inviting spectators tom come and see a mobile cinema screening of the Afghan film archive in the Shar-e Naw Park, of film clips montaged from the telecine workshop that had just concluded.
... of the Afghan Film archives.
G: So, here we have an image of waiting that the may be equated to the image of waiting for a state archive, this kind of endless almost limbo state. And then we also have the idea of not waiting, of in a sense going out idea of the idea of finding some kind of stable place. And mobilizing the archive and taking it to where it can be seen. and where it can be seen- may not necessarily be inside this kind of stable building, this kind of place where the archive will be. And then we had a fourth image which we can't show which is in 858 archives of a screening being set up, of images from the uprisings in... Philip maybe you want to elaborate on this one, the one which we show... of the sheet. We wanted to show putting of putting up a sheet.
G: Can you say something about it?
G: Or just about organizing this screening.
G: Okay, So, there we have in essence, this idea of not waiting. But then we could also say that what waits even in the images which don't wait is something of a possibility, that is, prepares itself. Because simply to film the possibility of screening is in a sense to project a possibility towards the future. And this is an interesting thing about digital archives because they've become mobile, because they've become light, because they've become transportable. It now means that this particular image of displacement, of moving of the archive in its risk, in its endangerment, in its projection outside of these spaces becomes itself a part of the life of the archive and of its history. And these images of where the archive is being moved, is being projected are actually images which then become part of the archive itself.
G: So, that would be the first thing, this question of the waiting. Then we also were quite interested in the notion of what could be cast in an archival mould, or what didn't need to be cast in an archival mould. And just this simple idea of what an archival mould would be, what casting an archival mould would be. I mean when we think about casting we normally think of the transformation of something molten like metal into something solid - something hot into something cold. We could say - concrete - something liquid into something solid. And the images that we saw from the second clip, we could see that for example: a revolution in essence moves from being a kind of molten event into kind of... into statues, its reduced into the solid. It moves from liquid into solid and from molten into cold. So, this one notion of casting a mould.
G: Another notion that we could think about casting because casting is also like throwing - is to throw a pot like you do into pottery, you throw a pot. So, this would be another type of way of thinking about the archival mould. So, we'll just have a look now at an image from in...
G: Which can in a sense then receive inscriptions. So we can think of one mode of the archive as being a container, and therefore also what it contains in a sense, as being container that can then be inscribed upon. But then we could also think about pottery in terms of its actual process, as maintaining a certain degree of malleability of the material. Which is what we see in the second image which is from Robert Kramer's film Ice. Where we have a juxtaposition between a kind of militant film which is then... cuts to this fashioning of a pot. This fashioning of a pot can continue as long as material is malleable. And this fashioning of the pot - if we could think of this is a kind of metaphor for the archive - is also something which us very haptic. is something which involves a kind of sensuous touch, a hands-on approach. And its also quite artisinal as well. So, this is another thing about how we could think about casting archival moulds. The question of what is hard and what is soft in the archive. How can be archive malleable.
S: Another image that was very interesting in terms of possibility for transduction in the first thesis was the question of the river of time and how you can enter the river of time. I quote, "to not wait for the archive is to enter the river of time sideways, unannounced, just as the digital itself did, not so along ago." So, many of us came up with sequences from the four archives of... five archives - of how it is possible to represent this movement of entering the river of time sideways. So, just we want to share some of the rivers and some of the sideways.
G: This is from L'Atalante.
(reads annotation https://0xdb.org/0024844/ZC
"Entering the river of time sideways. The barge skipper deep dives searching for a vision of what he believes is lost to him, and that he finds with a mocking glint in her eye. Meanwhile the boatswain listens through the horn of a gramophone, a playback device that here appears to be a bottomless pipe or conduit; a vessel acoustically connects him and the boat with the watery depths."
G: (reads annotation https://pad.ma/BSS/D
"Entering the river of time sideways, through a dam that breaks in Istalif in 1965 and disrupts a traditional winter picnic, with a soundtrack that seems to belong to another event entirely. A flood without danger, an everyday, natural, expected destruction. Afghan spectacle without the specter of war."
pad.ma clip: Snow and Flood in Istalif
S: And thanks to Mariam for this annotation.
S: Its endless... So the idea is really a beginning of a (?) [inaudible]
G: (reads annotation from a clip of Ship of Theseus footage https://pad.ma/FRA/K
"Entering the river of time from the side of not seeing, of being in the dark, therefore more attuned to its rush, the harmonics hidden in the enveloping white noise. Sleeping by the river so that its flow enters her dreams."
Ship of Theseus footage, on pad.ma
G: Okay, So, thesis 3 was: "The direction of archiving will be outward not inward."
S: So, may be we can finish with the House of History.
G: Okay, because the first I mean this relates somewhat to what we were saying before about the question of archives being in a sense protected by mobility and by lightness. We tend to think of archiving as the inward movement of collecting things, finding bits and pieces, bringing them together, guarding them in safe and stable place. The model of this type of archiving is the fortress or the burning library. This model already provides a clear sense of the limits or ends of the archive - Fire, flooding, data loss and to which we could add pillage, or bombardment.
G: This thesis talks about the question of the archive moving outward in terms of how its projected, distributed, how copying... how the digital archive in a sense enables this escape from this kind of... the possible danger that accrues toward in the case of of buildings and so on. But there is another sense in which outwardness and inwardness are in play in archiving. And this is to do with somehow the attitude that the archivist has, their gaze. So, another notion of outwardness and inwardness we can get from... say from Gilles Deleuze talking about Virginia Woolf.
S: I add to this notion of the archive being art work was this question of entre
, of between-ness and molecularity of how dispersion between, within the archive - This between-ness and the question of the outside, of a radical outside.Where you can be always outside vis-a-vis power, vis-a-vis...
S: Yesterday we discussed a lot the rapport with the state, the rapport with the official, the position of the border for example and we thought that this...
G: But the being outside doesn't mean being outside in the sense of.... the outside is a problematic term. But it means in a sense this position of occupying the border, and this is what permits in a sense being able to be in the midst of things, cutting through them... I mean which could describe a kind of edit - process of editing even.
G: Being distributed like a mist in the sense of the way that for example: archival material might be distributed but the way archival affact might be distributed as well between people.
S: And just to conclude, another movement that was proposed was the spiral and the idea of spiralling. So, we just finish with that and just to know...
Spiral Jetty (Robert Smithson) 1970
G: (reads annotation from https://0xdb.org/1682366/AK
(Robert Smithson's spiral jetty projects out into the waters of Salt lake) beneath which it is from time to time submersed. But in projecting out it also projects in, it involves, while reprojecting out again in the opposite direction. Perhaps the direction of archiving is in this double inward outward movement that confounds linear space and time,... (not only in circulation but also in spiralation.)
G: We had a enough for another half hour...