Re-Imagining the Archive
THE ROLE OF PROCESS AND DOCUMENTATION IN CREATIVE WORK /
A CASE STUDY OF MIT ACT’S FUTURE ARCHIVE PROJECT
Madeleine Clare Elish, Research Assistant
Part of HyperStudio’s ongoing research agenda in the field of Digital Humanities is to explore the ways in which digital tools can assist and augment humanistic research and education practices. This research paper is to explore what it might mean to create a digital platform that assists and facilitates a creative process. By investigating from a variety of angles a specific case, MIT’s Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) Future Archive Project, we hope to illuminate the possibilities of such an endeavor as well as potential sites of friction. Broadly, this case study stands as an emblem of a current problem facing many humanists – a problem that can and should be addressed through Digital Humanities projects. The complex necessity to gather, store and organize a range of material confronts many humanists, from artists to designers to historians to economists. A platform, such as that described for the Future Archive Project, might be expanded or adapted to any project that involves gathering and displaying material. Moreover, the concept of the walled garden allows this kind of project to be readily adapted to a classroom setting. Above all, this case study demonstrates the great potential digital tools offer in facilitating creative and research processes.