Reading 7: Archive or Memory? The Detritus of Live Performance

This reading like the one before started off by looking at how we archive a performance and the fears that an artist faces when creating a performance. Many people are concerned when creating a performance how long will it last or be remembered and will try to archive their work in the best possible form, the main concern is that there is no better way to archive a performance than the memories of its spectators’ but how do you relay this to future viewers.

When it comes to personal memory it is the best way to determine the success of a show, how much is the performance spoken about, do people want to see it again and would they take the time to review the piece. All of these things are brought to life when a person recalls their memories but how we lock this in to a document still amazes artists.

One of the many ways being considered is “Detritus”, when a performance is taking place there will be very carefully planned out transitions between scenes to insure the stage and space remain in perfectly condition however, if props and general stage mess was to be left on the stage as the performance progresses what would be the end image. There have been many shows where this method has been tried and photographed but this still excludes personal memory, it implies impact that future viewers can see the piece for themselves but it doesn’t reveal what it was like to actually see the piece.

Archiving for a performance is difficult but can be done; it is simply finding the best resource to fit your performance in question.

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