Concepts and tools that relate to my process:

The Stranding Blog:

The blog functioned as a meeting point where I could share my research process with others. By using the blog I learned to make visible my research process. This was very difficult at first because I was reluctant to make my research visible online when I felt that it was unfinished. I was afraid of the sort of intimacy between myself and the reader that could reveal my research process with all of its difficulties. I am still learning how to use the blog.


Collaboration is essential to my practice, particularly as a feminist process, relating to the development of an intimacy between contributors and making space for each other. Collaboration is a way to work outside of the ‘master discourse’. At the same time, collaboration is a way of working that relates to Constant’s openness that I spoke about earlier. I do not think that a collaborative process has to be one of consensus, where each person agrees to create one finished ‘product’. I think that collaboration can be people coming together to work on a project at a particular point in time, or on a specific part of a project, while they continue to develop the project separately.

The open atelier during Digitales 2004:

The open atelier held in the resource centre at Interface 3 (a training centre for women using new technologies) was my first collaboration with Anja. It was also an opportunity to meet the people who have contact with the Digitales archives, such as the employees and students at Interface 3, and the people who attend Digitales. Finally, it was another opportunity to make my research process visible in a different public encounter than the blog.

The MOO:

The MOO was a possible Venue for archiving that I wanted to explore. In a MOO written language and ‘objects’ are the same thing because a MOO is text based. I was interested in this because it was possible for people to ‘handle’ language. I thought that this could be particularly interesting for the text-based archive items because of the metaphor of the body in ‘handling’ the language. The MOO was interesting and I think that it holds a lot of possibilities, however it takes a lot of time to learn how to use it. I felt that this would make the Digitales archives rather inaccessible, and so I decided to work with other Venues. I am continuing to work in the MOO for other projects.

The Digitales archives:

I work on gathering the traces for the Digitales archives because it gives me an idea of the content of the archives, as well as the process for gathering the content for the archives. It is from working on gathering the traces that I thought about the difference between documentation and archive material that I spoke of earlier.

Respondent at VJ7:

I was a Respondent during the VJ7 seminar the Lining of Forgetting in November and I found that it was a great way to focus and develop my early research. I developed questions that related to my work for the seminar and for the subsequent interviews that I did.


The interviews functioned as part of my process much in the same way as being a respondent for VJ7, by helping me to focus and develop my work. The interviews also helped me to ground my work in current art practices. Finally, it was my interview with Anja that led to our collaboration.

The Publications:

The texts that I did for publication ( Scenario for an Archive Discussion for the VJ7 Catalogue and Conversation with a Robot about Archives… for the Transmedia Text Series 03) made me focus the presentation of my practice. I worked collaboratively with Arnaud Dejeammes on Scenario for an Archive Discussion. These texts were a way for me to learn how to develop and communicate my practice in a finished presentation.

The two prototype Venues:

I use the word ‘venues’ to refer to the Open House and Digitales Archives website because they are places in which the Play of Archiving can take place. The Venues are not ‘works’. The Digitales Archives website is the prototype Venue that I propose for the digital archive material. The Open House is what I propose as a prototype Venue for the physical Digitales archive materials. I opened my home for the Play of Archiving as an act of hospitality. Hospitality for me is a feminist act. It is making space for the other. Opening my home was an invitation to an intimacy with the guests by opening my private space.

If the meaning of an archive object is made from the position from which it is viewed (read: person, and all that implicates including education level, nationality, gender, race, etc.) then it made sense to me to make these multiple positions and meanings visible through the Venues. This is why each person who participates in the Play of Archiving must fill out a player profile – a record of such things as age, gender, languages spoken, education level, nationality, etc. This profile is not there to give a context for the archive item. The profile acts as a context for the sharing that will take place during the Play of Archiving. The Play of Archiving is not done to propose a meaning for an archive item but to reveal the meanings produced and the sharing that took place by people in relation to an archive item. The position from which the archive is viewed is particularly emphasised with the website, with which the archive is accessed only through people’s ‘homepages’.

A Play of Archiving:

Why is it called a Play of Archiving? Because the word ‘play’ suggests an exchange. That is what this way of archiving is: an exchange between people (read: bodies) in relation to an archive item. The Play of Archiving is a way (read:gesture) for people to put the meaning they produced for an archive item in connection with that archive item. However, the archive item functions only as a catalyst for an exchange between people, it does not continue to be the focus of the exchange between people. This exchange is a sort of intimacy, where one person approaches another to reveal their memory or interest in an archive item. The Play of Archiving can take place in different spaces, or Venues. The Play of Archiving is portable and can work with diverse archives. The Play of Archiving is a set of parameters, it is not a set of rules. It asks that people use the archive items as part of an encounter and exchange. The Play of Archiving is a distillation of digA_p. The most important way that it differs from digA_p is that the Play of Archiving does not include the position of ‘documentor’, thus the Play of Archiving can be used with existing archives.

How to make a prototype Website:

1. Decide how you want your website to function. I wanted the archive to be organised by people, where one could only access the archive material through people’s personal ‘homepages’. I wanted the traces of the Play of Archiving to be linked to the archive material. I also wanted people to be linked together by matching things in their profiles, matching archive items, and Plays of Archiving that they might have done together. I also made a distinction between documentation, which was what I called those items that had not been part of a Play of Archiving, and archive items, which had been part of a Play of Archiving. Finally, I wanted people to be able to alter the description and keywords for archive items.

2. Make a concept outline. This is to show how the website functions. I made a rough drawing, or mock-up, using two fictional players to develop how I could make a Digitales Archives website that had the functions that I wanted, meaning: how could players use the webpages, what should be on the webpages, where the pages should link to, etc. I used a pen and paper to do this, and then I made a digital copy using Paint. You can find the outline in the blog’s March archives.

3. Make technical outline. This is to show how the website is constructed. I made a mock-up showing each page of the Digitales Archives website, what information would be on the page, and where the page linked to. You can find the outline in the blog’s April archives.

4. Make the graphic design of the website. I worked in collaboration with Arnaud Dejeammes to design the way the Digitales Archives Website would look. We used Photoshop and Paint.

5. Do the html. I used notepad and a WYSIWYG ( what you see is what you get) html editor. I decided to make my prototype using only html, so there is no database or programming behind it. This means that this prototype Digitales Archives website illustrates the idea. The addition of programming and a database are what is needed to make this prototype a working site.

6. Test. I checked the website to see that all of the images were loading and that all of the links worked properly. You can also test the website on different browsers and with different operating systems.

How to have an archiving Open House:

1. Choose a date. I chose to have my archiving Open House during the day while my daughter was at daycare. I held the Open House between 9:00 and 17:00.

2. Invite people. I made invitations and sent them by email to about 30 people including students, artists, writers, curators, professors and activists that I know personally. I used Paint to make the invitations and I have a hotmail account that I used to send them. Tip: It’s not usually appreciated to broadcast email addresses so to keep them private put your own email address in the ‘To:’ section and put all of the addresses of your invitees in the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) section.

3. Make a support for the Play of Archiving to take place. I decided to make a little text explaining the archiving Open House and the Play of Archiving. Then I made booklets where players could write a profile of themselves and could leave a trace of the Play of Archiving in connection with the archive item. I used Paint to make the booklets and the text.

4. Prepare the environment for the Play of Archiving to take place. I set up media stations in my house. The stations were: minidisk station, audio CD station, Video station, text station. The archive materials that I made available at these stations were minidisks, audio CD’s, VHS and DV tapes, books, posters, folders, and texts which I selected from Constant’s Digitales archives. Most of the material was from Digitales 2004, however some of the material was from earlier years. I also made a snack station – this really worked to bring people together to chat.

5. Make the snacks. I made veggies, hommus and tsziki, and also cookies the night before the Open House after my daughter was in bed. You can find recipes for these foods ( or other snacks) at

6. Welcome your guests. I had the text, the booklets and some pens ready for the guests at the front door. It’s also nice to introduce your guests to each other so that they feel comfortable.

7. Let your guests play. I didn’t participate in the Play of Archiving myself, instead I was busy making sure everyone had enough coffee, and knew where to find things, etc.

8. Document the event. I took digital stills with my Alfa ephoto307, which I uploaded to my computer during the day. I also took colour slides: I used my pentax 35mm cameras with Fuji 400 slide film and my digital light meter to read the light.

8. Ask your guests for feedback. I spoke with people about the archiving Open House.

9. Thank your guests for coming. I sent out emails the next day to thank the guests who came and to ask them if I could use the pictures I took of them as documentation.

The Play of Archiving

How to participate in a Play of Archiving:

1. Find something that interests you in an archive item.

2. Find someone to share that interest with.

3. Leave a trace of this sharing in connection with the archive item.

How to have an open atelier:

1. Find out why you have been asked to have an open atelier. I was asked to have an open atelier during four days at Digitales 2004 to work with the archives from previous Digitales.

2. Find out what tools you have to work with. I was given the resource centre to work in at Interface 3 ( Middaglijnstraat 26, 1210 Brussels) which I shared with Anja Westerfrölke, and Virginie Jortay who also was having an open atelier. This room was equipped with four PC’s with internet connections, a large round table and chairs, a white board and markers, a monitor and VCR, and a mini DV camera for playing mini DV’s.

3. Find an idea that you want to work with. I was interested in the possibility of archiving in a MOO. MOO stands for multi-user domain object oriented. A MOO is an online space that multiple users can access simultaneously. MOO’s usually work from an architectural metaphor, so that users can meet in ‘rooms’ to communicate with each other. However, unlike a chat that is temporary, MOO users can create things and leave them in the MOO. MOO’s have their beginnings in online gaming. To find out more about MOO’s, please see

4. Find someone with whom you would like to collaborate. I became interested in MOO’s because of the work that Anja Westerfrölke is doing in one, which she spoke about at VJ7.

5. Decide how you collectively want to work with the idea. Anja and I sent each other emails before Digitales to figure out exactly what we wanted to do there. We decided that we would work together to develop a mini-project about archiving and would use the moo as a test place.

6. Work in the open atelier during four days. We worked together to develop and idea, which became what we called digA_p. We tested this idea using the archive material from the previous Digitales. We were open to participation by anyone who wanted to join in and left the archive material on the round table for people to browse.

6. To finish, make a short presentation of the work that you did. We met with Constant and gave them a short presentation about digA_p.

How to gather traces from Digitales Meeting Days:

1. Tell Constant that you would like to help them gather traces and ask them what you can do. I did this for Digitales 2002 and as a result I did the sound editing for three lectures:

Irina Aristarkhova- Hostages to Hospitality: The Case of Undercurrents
Maria Fernandez- Globalisation and Women’s Networks
Ruth Oldenziel- Crossing Boundaries, Building Bridges

I used the software SoundForge 7 to edit them. These lectures can be found online at

transcribing interviews…

it’s a lot more difficult than it looks…honest…

more images from the archiving open house