What is a network?

A major facet of the archive is the way its contents interact with each other. This evokes a familiar word: the network. The network has the tinge of a corporate term, and just so, as the corporate approach is very much characterized by the archiving principle, that of control. In the modern world, much of the functions of society are concerned with understanding how people, things, and events interact with each other, and how they will effect subjects of interest. It is always in the advantage to reduce the network to one as simple as possible so that we may comprehend what we are seeing, unlike the vast complexity of networking we see in nature, and what makes it seemingly impossible to forecast meteorological or geological events to certain degrees of accuracy. The network, for human purposes, is a controlled network, one that can be recalled by thought, paper, or computer. The network is enabled by the archive, and the history of the archived, most importantly. The method in which a cover is binded to paper, or the city in which a book is published, and any other factors that you can imagine, tie together individual artifacts to each other, separate some from others, and brings the collection in contact with the outside world. Networking is always interdimensional; from one book to the other, from one library to the other, from one system to the other, from one time to the other, ect. In some ways, this is where we get the pleasure from collecting, and how the archive becomes further useful to us. We master the collection in terms of its past, present, and future; our control of it is complete in this way, as if its entire being becomes the possession of the archiver. The collection becomes a microcosm in the eye of the beholder, and from the height of stewardship, we can see the interrelationships between objects like a god over the laws of nature. The network elaborates the purpose of the archive. It makes clear what the archiver is looking at and its significance, and exemplifies its existence.

-Joseph Estevez


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