This past April, Declan Schweitzer presented at the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive what was for me a discerning essay “On the Mood of the Collector in the Digital Age.” Using Borges, Benjamin, and Heidegger, Schweitzer complicated the idea of digital collections thinking through concepts of constellation, mood, and experience. The digital, he argued, resists extension and unity because it divorces form and content from cultural objects. As the world is still time based, he called to change the means of thinking of materiality and temporal experience through new forms of collecting and curation.
These ideas brought to mind the Getty Research Institute’s archival project with George Herms where they catalogued Herm’s poetic associations in artworks, letters, and ephemera, to rescue historical context of the 1950s and ’60s California Beat and Pop scene. Through a process of “knowledge capture” – interviewing Herms – the Getty initiated a process of archiving archive art, which was, in itself, a constellation of moods and experiences.
Scrapbooks in many ways evoke mood in materiality and time. I like the idea of a blog as a scrapbook, but also as a panel, canvas, and archive for temporal and material experience.
George Herms, Get In The Car, (For Lew Welch) 1999