Calculated Chance: Detecting Archives
In my artistic practice I look back as a way to look forward and vice versa. Archives are good places for such mental somersaults.
There are numerous archives an artist can work with: physical and digital, amateur and institutional, real-time and monumentally outdated. They are both responsive places for inquires, and complex labyrinths to get lost in. The ever expanding field of institutional digital art archives maintain the same contradictory character.
It can be seen as an open access platform to appropriate an iconic image, a helpful resource to find an obscure art work, or a dead space of information overload.
The best way to navigate this growing wasteland of plenty is to adopt a role of a detective for whom digitized institutional archives display collections of cultural and industrial heritage like criminal evidence. Detecting cryptic hieroglyphics in a way fragmented remnants of reality are reproduced and displayed one is tempted to surrealistically mimic Alphonse Bertillon’s efforts to calculate chance of identifying what one is looking for.
As an Ariadne’s thread for this journey one might use rigid taxonomic systems, rules of nomenclature, technical terminology developed in botany and zoology or arbitrary regularity of poker cards. A byproduct of such DIY archival practice is a personal meta-archive with systematically registered and chronologically ordered artifacts for simple retrieval. There is, however, an overlooked capacity to automatically facilitate creative intersections behind the ordering mechanism of chronology, which functions as a concrete model of calculated chance.