Archiving Totality 

For Louis Blanqui, French revolutionary and socialist, the skies were a burial ground of stars. This vast existence of dying light reaches our eyes long after destruction began. In this same moment, resurrection occurs, and the molecule energy takes on a new form, rekindling the flame and creating star dust. The stars could also be considered an archive, the first archive of knowledge passed down across time and place. Someone once said, 'Let there be light'. While that may have created the universe, Charles Daguerre, inventor of photography, seized that light, leading to a feverish obsession with archiving the world.

Ngarinyin elder, David Mowaljarlai, remarks that “Everything is written twice—on the ground and in the sky,” and much like the stained-glass windows of Western cathedrals, the patterns provide a vivid illustration of morality and traditions.

It is with this in mind that I look at the landscape of Wallal, seeking moments that refect the sky above.

While in the archive I consider the notions of looking and not seeing, existing outside the frame, and facilitating what is recorded as momentum.

This work began during Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. Unable to physically interact with archive I looked to the online catalogue. Considering ideas of how we access and interact with the archive and the context of the history that the material is placed in. Asking questions like: what happens when we remove moments from the photo, is the meaning still the same? I created these by casting the online archive onto a TV, photographing them with a Hasselblad, a medium format film camera, and then scanning the negatives to create a new digital archive. 

I looked for moments of labour, light, and landscape. 

Using Format