ANT 394M • Archive and Ephemera
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
Ephemeral things are marginal things. They have been cast away or ignored; they have been consigned to no archive, fond, collection, treasury or compendium. Ephemera are statements and communications that are not meant to be kept, they were produced with no intention of preservation or consignment. They are of the moment. This graduate course disentangles ideas of ephemerality through an explicit study of (not) collecting and (not) archiving. Theorizing the ephemeral must be a theory of the everyday. It is a theory of gazes; it is a theory of the mobility of things; it is a theory of passing by: of the world passing us by and of us passing by things. One thinking of the ephemeral is that it is something that is truly a fleeting experience, one that cannot be remembered. This is the ephemeral that is opposed to persistence and permanence. That which passes into oblivion with no enduring record can be said to have been ephemerala judgment or valuation that is only proven in hind sight. As a major project for this course students will curate a collection of images or things from a public archive (or from their own collections or research). We will be actively work-shopping the projects as they move through various stages until a final presentation at the end of the course.