Open Archives, Active Archives ?: #1 : Digital properties.

@ Argos

Werfstraat 13 Rue du Chantier
1000 Brussels / Bruxelles

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An evening with Ronny Heiremans & Katleen Vermeir

In dialogue with artists represented in the Argos collection, Constant interrogates the active potential of the online media archive. Mixing screenings, live-interviews and presentations, we will discuss moral and legal ownership, contracts and licenses, annotation and access.

Constant started the Active Archives project in 2006 with the observation that most online archives fall into the traditional model of ’we’ (the institution) transmitting information to ’you’ (the visitor). They recreate the physical archivists’ box, prioritising preservation and integrity of the single object over the link-ability and potential for multiplication through sharing that digital collections could thrive on. They are certainly not presented as a means for creating derivative works. If we understand the web not simply as a means of distribution, but a space for (collaborative) writing, prototyping, and developing ideas, how can archives take part in this net-nature ? How can archives be active beyond preservation and access ? What would it take to give material away and receive it transformed ? How would files be enriched by different connections, contexts and contradictions ?

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