The Thoughts Behind Ambiguous Archiving

Archiving the erasable: By choosing to archive this moment I am choosing to not let it be erased. I’m choosing to forever record the moment and not let it be lost and become a distant memory.

Archivization produces: The act of archiving does not just put a time stamp on an event and gives the event forever meaning, it creates that event for those who weren’t there to witness it in the first place. You are producing that moment for days, years, and decades to come.

Photographer and the photographed: We have forever changed each other. Neither of us has left the other unaffected. I, the photographer, produced a moment that will not be left unknown. I, the photographed, invited in this person to capture a moment, maybe intimate, and archive it as they wish. We entered each other lives at the perfect moment. If either of us were missing, the moment wouldn’t have happened or wouldn’t have been archived.

Being a digital media maker means we have a responsibility to erase what we see fit as not being a moment worth archiving. We must censor the events we choose to share, and make a choice whether or not an event is worth producing. Producing an event brings it to life for many people, not just you. One must think about if many people would like to have that event brought to their attention. Would digital consumers appreciate certain events being archived. The act of archiving and sharing can always lead to controversy, but this may also be something to aspire for. Ultimately, it is up to the producer what they feel is worth archiving.

While archiving photographs I feel the producer has a responsibility to attach words to the photograph. That is, unless the photograph is purposely supposed to leave the viewer unclear on its meaning. Photographs are inherently ambiguous, and will leave digital consumers left with questions. Photographs leave viewers wondering what was happening, or what will happen next. But, this could also been seen as an advantage to photographs. Viewers may only stop and stare at a photo because they are trying to figure out its meaning or what’s happening. Without words connected with a photograph, viewers are left to create their own story and that could possibly be the bright side of ambiguity.

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