Archival Liveness: The Paper Archive in the Digital Age

Joy Palacios


This article examines the tension between performance and the archive by interrogating the archive's apparent deadness. Based on the author's personal experience conducting research in an old-fashioned paper-and-manuscript archive, the article draws on Actor-Network-Theory and new materialism to propose that a document depository constitutes a network of actors and actants linked together by performance. The article posits in conclusion that the imminent digitization of paper archives makes them more "live" now than ever, and suggests that for the next generation of researchers, who will have come of age photographing every aspect of their own lives, mediatized performance will provide a crucial model for theorizing the archive.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Joy Palacios

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