Delanie in New Jersey


I’m not sure what’s more interesting tin the particular portrait: Delanie’s room on the right or the look of confusion on her face on the left. She looks like she just woke from a nap and wasn’t prepared for a picture. Her bedroom, on the other hand, is orderly and tidy to the point of looking bare. The dark lighting exaggerates this as well. The room is slightly stark and the few items seen look strewn around. Additionally, the room isn’t entirely in the photo and it looks like it was clearly taken at an angle, which makes the photo look off-kilter. But you can tell it still follows the rule of thirds. At first, everything appears off balanced and it’s easy to assume it’s uneven but it’s actually symmetrical. It’s easier to focus on the essential elements in the scene since the whole room isn’t in the photograph.

I had a lot of questions while I looked at Delanie’s room. Why is it so dark? Even if it’s nighttime, isn’t there a window? Why is it so clean? What nine-year-old is that tidy? Why is it so bare? Delanie doesn’t seem like she has a lot of belongings. And why was the picture taken at an angle? You can’t see the rest of the room which makes me wonder what else is there. But on the whole, it looks like the room that belongs to a little girl. Even though it’s dark, you can tell the walls are pink. There are white dresses hanging on the door, a nightlight on the wall, and a butterfly on top of a vanity. There’s also a piano next to the wall, a pink foot mat and a bedspread with flowers on it.

Delanie’s room contrasts heavily with the other photos in the photo essay. Not all of the children have rooms to call their own and obviously live in environments different from Delanie’s. Some of the photos were difficult to look at and it’s hard to imagine a child trying to fall asleep in some of the conditions they’re in. Mollison’s artwork beautifully captures these children’s lives for a moment in his photo essay, but it’s also easy to wonder what their lives are like outside that.



How Archives Actually Work

Archivists determine how information is catalogued and therefore understood by the public. Additionally, archivists deliberately choose what goes into the archive and what does not for a number of reasons. These include insufficient data from the source material, data being unable to be formatted or converted for the archive, or the belief that some of the data is simply unnecessary. Consequently, archivists selecting certain information or data for documentation creates a new wealth of knowledge in the archive.

This process illustrates the arrangement of the archive and demonstrates why archivists make certain decisions that lead the creation of the archive and how they become part of the archive as well. Thus, when working on group projects such as Documenting a Citizen, digital media makers who work on video production and graphic images have to decide what gets cut out and what gets left in the editing process. If a clip of the citizen in question is cut down from twenty to ten minutes for editorial reasons still complete? Is a shot depicting the citizen in a different perspective than usual inaccurate? When the video portrait is complete, parts of it have been removed and altered and the result is a product that is eventually archived, does it still count?

As time goes on, archivization will become more advanced and there will be several complex methods of categorizing information. Choices will be made on what to include in futuristic archives and the necessity of documentation more prominent. Therefore, these two important questions we will need to ask ourselves when generating archives: what information is not included and why.