ITP Thesis Week 2009
Monday, May 4 - Friday, May 8

Exploded Archives

Klara Palotai

The daydream, nightmare and psychoanalysis of a building. The stage of the Exploded Archives installation is a debate, an argument between the real and the perceived with the capacity of its constituent parts to simultaneously occupy the same physical location in which the layering of the space results in continuous fluctuation of interpretations.

Exploded Archives is a site-specific installation based on archival material of a historical building, presented with the organizing principal of anarchic freedom. Based on the concept of emptiness, the sound, text and visual fragments are reorganized for an immersive viewing experience.

A historical building becomes a magnifying glass: voices and images of its past merge in a new narrative about identity, community, memory, religion, gender. The "noise" of past “frequencies” interferes, as random artifacts and by-products of the investigation.

Doors and windows open up to reveal memory fragments and the ordinary space of a community room in an old synagogue transforms into an enchanted location with new narratives. The old aron kodesh frames an interactive mirror and spectators find their own reflection framed as a responsive archival artifact.

Exploded Archives is a timeless space: it pulls out otherwise invisible threads from the dramatic action of archival materials and puts them in a different perspective. The audio and video components of the installation shift focus from the concrete events and address the whole rather than the segments involved in the given situation. The installation plumbs the unconscious, functioning as a magnet which invites and absorbs those ideas, anxieties, and emotions which would otherwise not even surface. As a cross-section of temporal procedures it gives a break to the narratives and ignites their projections of dreams and thoughts in the new context.

The installation accepts the premise that the meaning is in part structured by its own negotiation with boundaries of the building, with a constant attempt to ground it within this framework by exclusively using content generated within its walls.

User Scenario
By invite only. A one-time chance to see it.

Exploded Archives, a site-specific installation with performative objects, suggests new media interfaces for archival materials.