The Archival Environment
A media archive now spans the globe, and virtual reality adds spectacular depth to cyberspace. What ramifications do these developments have on the world outside of electronic circuitry? While humans amass information, non-sustainable use of natural resources continues.
Despite the present enthusiasm for storing genetic materials and deciphering genetic codes, saving information is not the same as saving species. Saving species requires environmental conservation. A growing data bank of genetic base codes is a poor consolation for the loss of habitats and species. Yet Western science seems resigned to the disappearance of the Natural -- even furthering the process with myriad feats of genetic re-engineering. This suspicious exchange is masked by turns as necessity and progress.
These postures of resignation and indifference can be traced across a range of cultural practices. The need for concrete action is often displaced to the realm of bits and codes. Technological avoidance rituals involving data processing, exchange, production and archiving substitute fiber-optic titillation for conservation. But the rising tide of extinction has begun to demonstrate emphatically that the ecological crisis is real. Endangered species cannot seek refuge in castles in the air. Presumptions of progress must be grounded or abandoned.
Perhaps it is quixotic to suppose that art could interfere with the rising curves of species extinction and human population growth. Let the experts decide. In the meantime, NOVUS.EXTINCTUS takes aim at the conventional wisdom that leads us along the information super-highway to a digital wonderland.
[ Next ]