The Living Archive in the Anthropocene

  • Nora Almeida New York City College of Technology, CUNY / Interference Archive
  • Jen Hoyer Brooklyn Public Library / Interference Archive

Abstract

This paper presents the concept of the living archive as a system which reflects how social behavior and cultural production are part of the Anthropocene. The authors explore how dominant narratives of both the Anthropocene and the archive work to consolidate power and maintain cultural and disciplinary divisions. The authors refute conceptions of the Anthropocene as a purely biophysical phenomenon that is alienated from cultural practice and of the archive as a comprehensive and nostalgic space. They then introduce the living archive as an alternative representational, creative, and reactive space and illustrate how the living archive can intervene in ecological reality. Finally, the authors explore how the concept of the living archive is enacted and invoked by the practices of the Interference Archive, an independent community archive in Brooklyn, New York.

Author Biographies

Nora Almeida, New York City College of Technology, CUNY / Interference Archive

Nora Almeida is an Instruction and Outreach Librarian at New York City College of Technology. She researches and writes about critical librarianship, digital pedagogy, neo-liberalism, performance, and community. She has volunteered at Interference Archive since 2015.

Jen Hoyer, Brooklyn Public Library / Interference Archive

Jen Hoyer received her MLIS from McGill University and works as an Educator in the archives of Brooklyn Public Library. She has volunteered at Interference Archive since 2013.

Published
2019-04-27