from my private space into the public space, to be received by others in their own private space. The essential difference of the discursive and the dialogical, as described by Flusser, is that the latter presumes a live, two-way, feedback by means of direct linkage in the same space. This is the case in our daily use of digital media (e.g., click, swipe, etc.). The fact that we are sender and receiver at the same time, in the same space, implies that the discursive distinction of public and private tends to disappear: keys have burst the boundaries between private and public. They have blended political with private space and made all inherited conceptions of discourse ['Diskurs'] superfluous." (Flusser 2011 [1985], p. 30) IV. A Reinterpretation of Derrida in Light of Flusser 14. We will now turn to a reinterpretation of Derrida's conception of the archive by means of the concepts and distinctions described in the previous section, which aimed to outline Flusser's account of the specifics of digital mediality and its main characteristics, as well as its differences from analog mediality. In our view, it is to be expected that these differences have a major impact on nature, function, and position of the archive. In this section, we will first address both the topological and nomological aspects of the conception of the archive. Subsequently, we consider the aspects of domiciliation, since - as Derrida rightly stresses - for a collection of documents to effectively be an archive they have to be held at a certain 'privileged place', in which the topological and nomological intertwine. We close this section with a reinterpretation of Derrida's concept of consignation. The archontic principle presupposes physical guardianship and control of the material, the technical substrate, of the archive. As to the locational or topological aspect of the digital, it follows from our account of digital mediality (see #11) that we are not primarily dealing with a physical place or topology but rather a simulated, 'virtual', place and topology generated by means of algorithmic processing and usually mediated through a computer screen. Of course, bits and their algorithmic processing also have a physical (mainly electrical) side, but it is impossible and irrelevant to map the (digital) technical image to a physical location - particularly given present-day virtualisation and cloud technology. Note, also, that even a docx - in a file explorer window - has nothing physical, bit-like, about it. Therefore, guardianship and control of the digital archive should concern itself with 'virtual' place and topology. Apart from exceptional situations (such as the now withdrawn Patriot act), physical guardianship and control of - more and more worldwide distributed - bits cease to be a relevant part of the figure of the digital archive. In addition, the technical substrate to guard and control, namely bits, should be understood as effectively immaterial, given their radical transferability and flexibility. In this vein, governmental guardianship and control over digital archives should concern itself not only with document-like records but also, and primarily, with managing technical and informational architectures or models ('topologies') and with safeguarding the transparency of algorithmic processing, e.g. through open source licensing. 15. As to the nomological aspects of Derrida's conception of the archive, that is the embodiment and objectification of the law (see #6), Flusser's analysis indicates, firstly, that such a law is to be located in the realm of technical images. Secondly, it also indicates that the actual forms and structures of technical images objectifying the law may greatly vary, and differ from document-like records (e.g., a website). Thus, a government that wishes to prescribe, interpret, and execute the law explicitly and consciously, needs to actively concern itself with technical images or simulacra objectifying the law, by actively managing its topology and safeguarding the transparency of algorithmic processing. Otherwise it will become increasingly unclear what and where the law actually is. The law will become increasingly opaque, non-transparent, and blurry - not only with regard to civic society, but also within governmental institutions themselves. The same concern applies to establishing who is to be held accountable, especially when it comes to executing intergovernmental and privately outsourced governmental tasks in the same topological space (e.g., cooperative digital environments). One could interpret intergovernmental cooperation in the chain- or network-wise execution of tasks as a 'dialogification' in a Flusserian sense and the blurring of the distinction between public and private as an after-effect of this dialogification (see #13). In fact, this account of the nomological situation implies that it is counterproductive, and possibly undesirable from the viewpoint of democratic accountability, to prioritise a document-like concept of a record when dealing with the digital. Since the law is no longer reducible to, and fully conceivable as, a document-like record - and increasingly so. In our view, this conclusion is not fundamentally affected by complications resulting from the still often combined (hybrid) usage of both paper and digital media for archiving. A 'conservative' stance on digitalisation might have undesirable effects from the viewpoint of democratic accountability: the nomological what, where, and who threatens to become blurry and loses its necessary transparency. 16. As to domiciliation or topo-nomology, perhaps the most important element of Derrida's conception of the archive, let us first recall that he defines it as the privileged place of the archive, namely the place where the physical control and guardianship happens ('topology') and from which the prescription, interpretation, and execution of the law takes place ('nomology'). From our analysis (see #14-15) a different basic form of topo-nomology, inherent to the digital, seems to arise. The basic structure or traditional model of domiciliation, involving an 'archontic center', from which things are hierarchically ruled and managed, seems to have broken into pieces, if not disappeared at all. Flusser argues that in a utopian-telematic society the basic archontic centralistic form of ruling and governing will become dysfunctional and will be replaced by the topo-nomological form inherent to the cybernetic techniques by means of which ruling and governing will actually take place: In the universe of technical, telematic images, there is no place for authors or authorities. Both have become superfluous through the automation of production, reproduction, distribution, and judgment. In this universe, archives in liquid times 132 arnoud glaudemans and jacco verburgt the archival transition from analogue to digital: revisiting derrida and flusser 133

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Jaarboeken Stichting Archiefpublicaties | 2017 | | pagina 68