Archives – Some personal thoughts

Do you have any archives that you could have access to? might you be able to use it for the beginning of a project? Blog about some ideas that you could comeback to one day.

As my previous blog entry highlights I have access to a large archive of family images, plotting the stories and journeys and eventual leaving home of me and my 2 siblings. We all hold different elements of this collective but fragmented  family archive. My father was a keen amateur photographer and there are thousands of image in monochrome and colour plotting and recording family trajectories. They also have a topographic character as they record us in a variety of places over time. we have of course all added to it in new and different ways.

As part of this family and personal story I also have a large personal archive on film and on hard drives of my own photographic work, from school boy darkroom experiments, to family snaps, actions images and to more serious photographic projects. This archive intersects my wider family archive creating a different trajectory.

I have for some time pondered on the idea of a topographic biography, by this I mean images of places that tell a wider story of transition, personal experience and the passage of time. I was born in a other country, I came to this country, we moved around as children, as an adult  I have repeated and extended this cycle. I have a very broad sense of what constitutes home and it is not defined by location, but rather by those around me.

I think it is this personal sense of transience that has been at the heart of my keenness in and developing photographic practice around people and place, my own work often centres around recording people and place to try and reveal some about time and culture. I am certain there is the potential for a significant project from these ideas. I recognise I need the assistance of academic tuition to develop and distill this idea further, a  level 3 project perhaps?

Postscript thought

I have along side my archive of negatives and photo;’s a growing virtual archive, recored in zeros and ones, hidden in solid sites hidden in blocks of silicon, out of sight inside the cards that slowly get bigger as time passes. Unlike their analogue counterparts they offer no glimpse of the past, only a question around what might they contain. I imagine this virtual archive is far more , the lot of the modern image maker and photographer. I ponder on what future generations might make of these electric images. What is the potential for a future Nicky Bird or John Maloof in a collection of cards and drives?



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