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The Big Archive

Sven Spieker - Hardcover

  • Author: Sven Spieker
  • Publisher: Mit Pr
  • Pages: 219
  • Fiction: No
  • Publish Date: 10/31/2008
  • Adult: Yes
  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9780262195706
  • Item Number: UMIT219570
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The Big Archive by Sven Spieker


The typewriter, the card index, and the filing cabinet: these are technologies andmodalities of the archive. To the bureaucrat, archives contain little more than garbage, paperworkno longer needed; to the historian, on the other hand, the archive's content stands as aquasi-objective correlative of the "living" past. Twentieth-century art made use of thearchive in a variety of ways--from what Spieker calls Marcel Duchamp's "anemic archive" ofreadymades and El Lissitzky's Demonstration Rooms to the compilations of photographs made by suchpostwar artists as Susan Hiller and Gerhard Richter. In The Big Archive, Sven Spieker investigatesthe archive--as both bureaucratic institution and index of evolving attitudes toward contingent timein science and art--and finds it to be a crucible of twentieth-century modernism. Dadaists,constructivists, and Surrealists favored discontinuous, nonlinear archives that resisted hermeneuticreading and ordered presentation. Spieker argues that the use of archives by such contemporaryartists as Hiller, Richter, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Walid Raad, and Boris Mikhailov responds to andcontinues this attack on the nineteenth-century archive and its objectification of the historicalprocess. Spieker considers archivally driven art in relation to changing media technologies--thetypewriter, the telephone, the telegraph, film. And he connects the archive to a particularly modernvisuality, showing that the avant-garde used the archive as something of a laboratory forexperimental inquiries into the nature of vision and its relation to time. The Big Archive offers usthe first critical monograph on an overarching motif in twentieth-century art.

  • Author: Sven Spieker
  • Publisher: Mit Pr
  • Pages: 219
  • Fiction: No
  • Publish Date: 10/31/2008
  • Adult: Yes
  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9780262195706
  • Item Number: UMIT219570
Sven Spieker - Hardcover

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  • The Big Archive Sven Spieker
The Big Archive Sven Spieker