Gabriella GiannachiNov 18, 2023
Mapping the Everyday
MIT Press 2016
In Archive Everything: Mapping the Everyday (MIT Press, 2016; paperback edition, 2023), Gabriella Giannachi traces the evolution of the archive into the apparatus through which we map the everyday. The archive, traditionally a body of documents or a site for the preservation of documents, changed over the centuries to encompass, often concurrently, a broad but interrelated number of practices not traditionally considered as archival. Archives now consist of not only documents and sites but also artworks, installations, museums, social media platforms, and mediated and mixed reality environments. Giannachi tracks the evolution of these diverse archival practices across the centuries.
Archives today offer a multiplicity of viewing platforms to replay the past, capture the present, and map our presence. Giannachi uses archaeological practices to explore all the layers of the archive, analyzing Lynn Hershman Leeson's !Women Art Revolution project, a digital archive of feminist artists. She considers the archive as a memory laboratory, with case studies that include visitors' encounters with archival materials in the Jewish Museum in Berlin and projects like heritage projects organized by the Exeter City Football Club Supporters Trust. She discusses the importance of participatory archiving, examining the “multimedia roadshow” Digital Diaspora Family Reunion as an example. She explores the use of the archive in works that express the relationship between ourselves and our environment, citing Andy Warhol’s time capsules and Ant Farm, among others. And she looks at the transmission of the archive through the body in performance, bioart, and database artworks, closing with a detailed analysis of Lynn Hershman Leeson's Infinity Engine.
Jen Hoyer is Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at CUNY New York City College of Technology. Jen edits for Partnership Journal and organizes with the TPS Collective. She is co-author of What Primary Sources Teach: Lessons for Every Classroom and The Social Movement Archive.