Steal This Archive

The Stolen Time Archive is just this really weird thing. But that's not bad. I like it. The most obvious way it matches up with our discussions is the way in which, as an archive, it rewards inquiry. You get out of it what you put into it. The designer and author notes on the website speak truly when they call its effect "emergent". Its peculiar style gives no obvious direction, even though the "clock in" and "clock out" buttons, as well as the tracing at the beginning, give the impression of there being an overarching mission with tasks to check off on it. It was also self-referential, and frighteningly self-aware--it was presented as though it knew it was being looked at. And call me crazy, but those android flyers draw attention to the issue of technology and how it relates to the human endeavor--or what we regard as a "human" endeavor--of exploring the world and organizing our knowledge.

I've mentioned in class that I can have serious issues with information overload if I'm not careful. (We've also referred to this as a sort of archive fever.) That was definitely happening to me in The Stolen Archive. I tried, therefore, to limit my search and pretend some sections didn't exist. I undoubtedly missed a great deal, so I look forward to hearing others' experiences with the archive. But this hyper-focus I used gave me an unexpected insight.

I titled this post the way I did because I believe this archive intends for us to focus in on whatever catches our interest within it and whatever we decide is our "mission". Everybody digs in and plunders it differently. Everybody hijacks The Stolen Archive and uses it for their own purposes. So if you look at the title and think, huh, why is it called that--The Stolen Archive? Who stole it?

Well, that's easy. You did.

Comments

I really like your point about the meaning of the name "Stolen Time Archive," and reading it made me think of another possible interpretation. What if the name referred to the user's time being stolen? My experience with the archive was that it really drew me in--I probably spent way more time on it than was necessary for this assignment. In that way, perhaps the archive "stole" a bit of time from me.