For present purposes, it suffices to discuss the following: Firstly, we briefly outline Derrida's general views concerning the archive, also in relation to the well-known notion of archivisation; secondly, we discuss three basic elements of his conception of the archive: mediality, domiciliation or topo-nomology, and consignation; and finally, his suggestion of an entirely different logic at work in the digital context, which he raises only in the margins of his text, but which might be fruitfully discussed in terms of Flusser's theoretical framework, as we argue in section III. 4. As to Derrida's general views, the first thing to note is that he uses two key terms: 'archontic' and 'archivisation'. The first term he derives from an etymological analysis of the Greek term 'arkhe' or 'arkheion', an important term which we address shortly (see #6). By the second term he aims to designate a concrete act of archiving or recording, for instance the save-key example from the introduction. Moreover, what he aims to designate by 'archivisation' is not so much a general concept of recording acts, but rather an always particular case of recording, which determines the actual meaning of a record in its specific context. Another important thing to note is Derrida's emphasis on the irreducible, external and hypomnesic character of the archive: the archive, if this word or this figure can be stabilized so as to take on a signification, will never be either memory or anamnesis as spontaneous, alive and internal experience. On the contrary: the archive takes place at the place of originary and structural breakdown of the said memory. There is no archive without a place of consignation, without a technique of repetition, and without a certain exteriority. No archive without outside. (Derrida 1995 [1994], p.14) 5. This quote clearly indicates that the archive is always externally materialised and different from our inner experienced live memory. It does not simply present or represent our live memory. Rather, in order to function, the archive has to be something exterior to, and apart from, live memory. It needs to consist of certain signs, to have a certain materiality, to be at a certain place, and to involve a certain technique of repetition. Unlike Derrida, one could use the term mediality to cover these aspects of exteriority. In our view, abstracting from mediality would result in mistaking a particular figure of the archive for a general concept of it. Hence, having a specific technical substrate - e.g., ink on paper as to the alphabet, microfilm as to images, some physical (analog) carrier as to digital information - with its own techno-functional (im)possibilities is presupposed by, or intrinsic to, any archive. 6. At the very beginning of his text, Derrida introduces the second element of his conception of the archive, namely the crucial element of domiciliation or topo- nomology, by means of an etymological analysis of the Greek term 'arkheion'. The full passage is quoted here: As is the case for the Latin archivum or archium the meaning of "archive," its only meaning, comes to it from the Greek arkheion: initially a house, a domicile, an address, the residence of the superior magistrates, the archons, those who commanded. The citizens who thus held and signified political power were considered to possess the right to make or to represent the law. On account of their publicly recognized authority, it is at their home, in that place which is their house (private house, family house, or employee's house), that official documents are filed. The archons are first of all the documents' guardians. They do not only ensure the physical security of what is deposited and of the substrate. They are also accorded the hermeneutic right and competence. They have the power to interpret the archives. Entrusted to such archons, these documents in effect state the law: they recall the law and call on or impose the law. To be guarded thus, in the jurisdiction of this stating the law, they needed at once a guardian and a localization. Even in their guardianship or their hermeneutic tradition, the archives could neither do without substrate nor without residence. (Derrida, 1995 [1994], pp. 9-10). From this quote it is clear that the term 'archive' designates both a collection of documents and the building in which they are kept. There can be no archive without domiciliation. For a collection of documents to be an archive, there has to be a certain privileged place where it resides; it has to be under both physical and interpretative control and guardianship; for only then this collection of documents can count as stating the law. In other words, documents are kept and classified under the title of an archive by virtue of a privileged topology and nomology. The third element of Derrida's conception of the archive, namely the function or power of consignation, must be understood as the act of carrying out the second element; it is its executive counterpart. However, Derrida stresses that consignation does not only concern acts of recording, or the results thereof, but also what any act of recording (consignatio) always already presupposes: By consignation, we do not only mean, in the ordinary sense of the word, the act of assigning residence or of entrusting so as to put into reserve (to consign, to deposit), in a place and on a substrate, but here the act of consigning through gathering together signs. It is not only the traditional consignatio, that is, the written proof, but what all consignatio begins by presupposing. Consignation aims to coordinate a single corpus, in a system or a synchrony in which all the elements articulate the unity of an ideal configuration. In an archive, there should not be any absolute dissociation, any heterogeneity or secret which could separate (secernere), or partition, in an absolute manner. The archontic principle of the archive is also a principle of consignation, that is, of gathering together. (Derrida 1995 [1994], p. 10) It is fair to say that Derrida's phrase "what all consignatio begins by presupposing" equals what is commonly known as the (defining) context of the archive. And the context of an archive, any particular archive, is defined or determined by questions such as: Which types of acts are to be recorded? Which aspects of these acts are to be recorded? How are these to be classified and incorporated into the archive? And according to which criteria or rules? archives in liquid times 124 arnoud glaudemans and jacco verburgt the archival transition from analogue to digital: revisiting derrida and flusser 125

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