Alice Gambrell

Evolution in the Archive

As I navigated the Stolen Time archive, I was reminded of projects and websites my AP English Language teacher had us look at during my junior year in high school. In preparing us for college and higher education, my teacher promoted not only analysis of modern and post-modern works, but also that of non-academic works -- video games, comic books, TV commercials, blogs, et cetera. Both Platform Studies and the Stolen Time article similarly take the mundane and seemingly meaningless and bring them up into the light of academic analysis or, if not that, academic consideration at the least. And isn't that important? Where do we draw the line separating those worthy of remembrance and consideration, and those unworthy?

The Stolen Time archive is quite possibly the most comprehensive archive I have ever laid eyes on. The reader becomes a part of the archive as they are interacting with it. While it may not act as an efficient and easily navigable archive, Stolen Time embodies the idea of the archive itself. It takes in anything and everything pertaining to its topic - photos, copies of articles, original articles; and most interestingly the movements, actions, and stories of its readers. Foucault argues that the "archive" is forever evolving and never complete; a concept which is proven in Stolen Time as it evolves with every new reader. It, in some way, is swept up in the "archive fever" - a desire and drive to archive every single thing it can, whether or not anyone else considers those things to be relevant. That is the goal of the archive. An archive saves everything and takes note of everything, just in case someone should have the desire to access it.

To Make Work out of Art, and Art out of Work

The Stolen TIme Archive was incredible.  I was incredibly confused when I first got to the page, because whatever I was expecting, it wasn't that.  Something that really struck me while reading the author's statement was when Gambrell said "we mean to ask you to think hard about what it means to make work out of art, and to make art out of work".  While going through the archive, I kept seeing how work was made into art over and over again.  The whole idea that Gambrell put into action in The Stolen Time Archive is really cool.  

I'm definitely still struggling to understand all that we've been discussing and reading about archives and archival theory, but Gambrell's hands-on project helped to make it somewhat easier to understand.  At the end of the project, I noticed that there was a page that tracked my mouse's movement throughout the entire time I was in the archive, which is one of the moments that really struck me as art.  What Gambrell has complied in her archive is more than just documents.  There are documents, pictures, posters, comic strips, books, etc, which we have discussed in class when speaking of digital archives.  It's not just a library full of books, the archive is so much more.