Project Proposal

“ Undefined and forged in ash, the shadow archive, an ‘ archive of the virtual’…” (Mizuta-Lippet: 9)

What forms of artistic production are used to challenge official notions of memory and history? And, how can this create a space for dialogue around geographical land, nature, and the complexities of history and memory that inhabit environments?

I was reading about Dana Claxton and Indian Candy in Canadian Art. To draw from the Winsor Gallery website (2013), “[Claxton]…reclaims indigenous histories and epistemologies, working with media appropriated from internet sources and  photographs she took at Writing on Stone Provincial Park…archival juxtapositions and bright, reworked icons and symbols…it re-centers our relationship to colonial and indigenous history and asks us to look at our cultural consumption.”  This in part, informed my choice of topic.  For the purposes of this assignment, I would like to do Option 1: Theoretical exploration ,  with a focus on digital storytelling, art and the archive.

As mentioned last week in our discussion on information and noise,

We tend to envision information as perpetually in transit, in social circulation, but in equal degree information accumulates, gets stored and sits there, in some actual or virtual location, awaiting retrieval. What the inscription and storage of information also allows is its manipulation…Stored information becomes a medium out of which – by editing, cutting, re framing, re sequencing and so forth – new orders of form can be produced…Media arts re mediate information in forms of meaningful noise.” (CTMS, 164)

I’m interested in the re-interpretation and remediation of information into forms of meaningful noise. Akira Mizuta Lippit, in Atomic Light (Shadow Optics), characterizes the shadow archive as what cannot be archived, and therefore survives when the archive is destroyed (Marks: 2015). What is meaningful noise? How/is this is reflected in counter-narratives/histories, and how culture is fabricated, shared and consumed? Last week I touched on Adele Perry’s reality effect. I would like to further explore this concept.

While still in development, I imagine I would discuss and define terms, and use case studies to illustrate.

Due to the content, definitions of memory and history will need to be utilized. One such definition comes from  Pierre Nora, who writes in his essay, ‘Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Memoire (The Places of Memory),:

Memory and history, far from being synonymous, appear now to be in fundamental opposition. Memory is life, borne by living societies founded in its name. It remains in permanent evolution, open to the dialectic of remembering and forgetting, unconscious of its successive deformations, vulnerable to manipulation and appropriation, susceptible to being long dormant and periodically revived. History on the other hand, is the reconstruction, always problematic and incomplete, of what is no longer… (1989:8).



Marks, Laura U. (2013)  What role can the archive play in developing and sustaining a critical and culturally located art history? The Arab Shadow Archive In Ibraaz: Contemporary Visual Culture in North Africa and the Middle East. Retrieved from:

Winsor Gallery (2014) Dana Claxton’s Indian Candy in Canadian Art. Retrieved from:

Potential sources

Bourriaud, N. (2002). Relational aesthetics. Dijon: Les presses du réel.

Derrida, J. (1996) Archive Fever: a Freudian impression. University of Chicago Press: Chicago.

Downey, A. (2015) Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East. I.B Tauris & Co. Ltd: New York.

Cooke, Grayson & Reichelt-Brushett, Amanda (2014) Archival Memory and Dissolution: The after image project in Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. Vol 21, Issue 1, pp. 8 – 26

Lambert, J. (2006). Digital storytelling: Capturing lives, creating community (2nd ed.). Berkeley, Calif: Digital Diner Press.

Lessard, Bruno (2009) Between Creation and Preservation: The ANARCHIVE Project in The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies  retrieved from: Vol 15(3): 315–331

Lippit, A. M. (2005). Atomic Light (Shadow Optics). Minneapolis, US: University of Minnesota Press. Retrieved from

Malmo University  Living Archives: Enhancing the role of the public archive by performing memory, open data access, and participatory design (

Mochizuki, C.N. (2006) kanashibari, shadow archive. School for the Contemporary Arts – Simon Fraser University (M.F.A. Thesis) Retrieved from:

Nora, Pierre (1989) Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire in Representations  No. 26, Special Issue: Memory and Counter-Memory (Spring, 1989), pp. 7-24 University of California Press Stable Retrieved from:

UNESCO (2017) Intangible Cultural Heritage


Leave me a Comment