Material Culture

Archive: ‘Mosaie’

Why do we keep stuff?

We seems like in an endless road of collecting objects ,and we organise them in an rational way. Then, we are in the archive fever!

We are living in a big archive, both human and objects around us. ‘Its a place where documents and other materials of public or historical interest are preserved. …refers to the contexts of museums, libraries, and archives and thus the entire extend historical record.’ ‘The archive affirms the past, present, and future. It preserves the records of the past and it embodies the promise of the present to the future.’ (Manoff 2004)Despite the public one, we also have personal archive, Derrida argues that humanity’s archive takes a particular form itself, the written. How the archive is produced will shape how subjectivity is produced. The reason why he could say that is based on Voss and Werner, they also claimed that ‘ The archive is both a physical site and an imaginative site.’ We also keep this as our memory, even they also said that the relationship between archive and memory is forces of the outside but inheres in the interior dynamics of the archive. which also means to the digital archive nowadays, that the liquid elements become immaterial and free. (Voss and Werner 1999) Just as Featherstone (2014) said ‘ the boundaries between the archive and everyday life become blurred thought digital recording and storage technologies.’ The new information technologies expand our capacity to record anything, so that ‘culture depends upon storages.’ The activities of building up our archive is develop our own memory devices, and sustaining culture identities.


Weekly task:

  • Create a series of images of your object and objects that relate to it.
  • Create categories of images- codify, organize, and generally archive all the materials you have that relate to your objects in someway.


Group 1:

For the first group, I put them under the title of ‘gifts’. They are all my gifts received from my friends. Each of them holds an really useful function, because they know I don’t keen on the luxury, so they all aimed to give me little helps to make my life better and remind them as well. Once I’ve got the stuff, I will use it for them to accompany with, or leave one for a specific time to use.

I’d like to see the stuff someone gave me have been used for a while until they are getting old and may not good for work further more. Then, collect them into my drawer in my hometown. Because from my opinion, the thing to remember is not only the object. If I keep it in the drawer when it’s new, it will only contains one meaning, my friends wishes, lack of the other meaning of me relation to it. And also I won’t make my friends happy as I don’t like it because I did use it. I think the used one is much more meaningful than the new one because they have a time period that living and working with me. The invisible connection which called the intimate relation, means I am creating a history with the object and I can see the time span when it lies in my drawer with tiny scratches and color fade. And then, they become my very personal archive. That is the secret of a more memorable and precious object works for me. They are the days I owned my objects for friendship, and the collections of these as part of records of my past life. The objects in my drawer are unique in the world even they are not the limited edition, but only used by me thus made them special and specific.

Group  2:

In the second group, all the things I perched for myself shared some similarities from the kind of nature, or nature feelings.  Owing to my main object is an amethyst, the characteristics it has are nature, crystal, and purple colour. And I subsequently found out that I tend to choose the same kind of things belonging to these categories. The stones were collected in Brighton’s beach, the plants, purple butterfly, amethyst alike scent-bottle, crystal snowflake, amethyst alike lights.





Manoff, M. (2006) Theories of the Archive from Across the Disciplines. Portal: Libraries and the Academy. 4(1), 9-25.

Featherstone, M. (2006) Archive. Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3), 591-596.

Voss, P., Werner, M. (1999) Studies in the literary imagination. Georgia State University.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s