All in a word

As a term, the word 'archive' carries the weight of multiple definitions. It connotes storage, collection, and preservation. It is a noun, a verb, a physical place, and a state of mind. No longer simply thought of as a repository of dusty old documents and photographs from which we construct the past; in the digital realm the archive has become a place of contested meaning, active engagement, and historical reconstruction. Argos, a Brussels-based center for art and new media, is for the month of October hosting Open Archive #1, a project which unpacks this ever-broadening term. Events include historically informed performances by film luminaries Tony Conrad and Ken Jacobs, a lecture by theorist Laura Mulvey, and symposia on subjects such as YouTube as an active archival repository, and the preservation of media art. In addition, Argos will also open the doors of its own institutional archive to present a series of exhibitions based on their vast collection of single channel video works.