Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Paper Archives

Last week I listened to an interesting programme on the radio about digital archives and the way people can now keep track and record so much of their lives. I liked the view of an interviewed psychologist who said "there is a good reason we forget things". I think this is so true - how much more messy would our lives be if we could instantly access images, text, video and sound of things long past that our minds and hearts would rather have edited out. 

Sometimes we need so little to recapture a memory or sense of time. Yesterday afternoon I looked through some of my old "visuals files" from the late 80s and 90s. 

I remember when I used to file these every few months I'd sometimes wish I was being more methodical. I remember seeing other illustrators who were filing saved images by category. Mine are random other than chronological (within a year or so) and compiled by what I thought looked good together. Now years later when I can use Google if I need to know how a certain animal looks or search images on a certain theme, what I most appreciate about these books are the randomness of them. I remember being intrigue by the Surrealists' use of Lautreamont's famous phrase, 'as beautiful as the chance encounter on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella'.

I have a huge box full of similar papers from the last ten years that I've never got around to filing. I also seem to gather less now....whether this is because less catches my eye or there is less printed material generally or whether I just don't look for it so much I'm not sure. I'd love to hear about other people's experiences of collecting printed ephemera.


Moira Millman said...

Hi Trina, interesting to read your post, I've got lots of these image files too dating back to my art college days and it's nice to look back at them. Like you I also have a box of unfiled clippings and I don't do so much image collecting these days either, google has changed things so much hasn't it! I remember having to make special trips to the library to look for a specific reference and that's why these files were so useful at the time! btw did you study at Maidstone college too?

Moira Millman said...
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Trina Dalziel said...

Hi Moira

Yes I was at Maidstone I left in 1990 - what dates were you there? I think we had the same UK agent for a while didn't we - around ten years ago? I LOVE your gocco prints on Etsy. I will e-mail you!

I sometimes wish I could slot an extra week into the year - that didn't have to be accounted for - so I could sit down and file the unfilled clippings!


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