It seems that “archive” is having its turn as one of those words, like “the body,” “visuality,” “hybridity,” “the aesthetic” and so on, that surge suddenly and sometimes surprisingly into fashion as the must-have accessory of the moment. This may be reason enough to try to go back to recover something of the edge and point of arguments made thirty years ago about the historical relationship between photography and the archive. The issues can hardly be said to be less pressing now. So perhaps, before we try to distance the effects of the archive as endlessly fraught by melancholy and the uncanny, we should try to encounter its machinery in the full force and confidence of its operation as an apparatus of rationalization and social management––an archiving machine that, in grasping and appropriating photography, subsumed the camera and its peripherals within the non-mimetic system of its composite assemblage, radically complicating our sense of what can be said to constitute the photographic apparatus, to say nothing of the questionable status of the photograph as index.

j vimeo.com/24646255

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