Documentation is an archive in process

My digital camera is full- I have taken the maximum images for the amount of storage space I have in the camera. Thirty-two images wait to be downloaded to my computer. These are images of my daughter or my partner. I have several folders on my computer, which contain similar images taken in similar circumstances at different points in time. These folders contain a private archive of images of my daily life, images that I have gathered together with the expectation that they will some day be looked at.

The images that are waiting to be downloaded from my digital camera are not (yet) an archive. The moment of recording, as in making an image, is only a part of the process of creating an archive. It is the production of documentation. I see documentation as a ‘putting-apart-mid-gesture’, a gesture that can be thought of in a physical sense like the movement of my finger as it presses down on the record button. (As an aside, like MK said what I am mostly putting apart at the moment of recording is my presence in the moment of the event as it happens. I am no longer wholly present for the event as it happens, but rather involved in the production of an image, a recording, of that moment). When I use the term documentation, I use it to highlight the distinction between the archive and putting-apart-mid-gesture. In order for documentation to become an archive it needs to be available in a place for one to relate it to memory. That is what I will do when I download the images to a folder on my computer. I cannot browse the images on my digital camera without downloading them ( although some cameras offer this feature, and I would argue that they create an archive precisely because of one’s ability to look at the images), thus the images on my digital camera remain an archive-in-process.