Documents temporally and topologically create a site displaced from a thing documented. In coordinating this external point of consideration, documents evidence a thing - prove its existence - but also abstract from it, severed as they are from a thing's site of encounter. To what extent, then, are we able to say that a document is related to a thing documented?
The proliferated imperative to document and store information brings past reality progressively closer to lived reality, or we could say that lived reality is increasingly blurred by the past. In this temporal convergence, the modes of mediation act emphatically upon our previous experiences and projections of the future. Worlds are being documented and becoming increasingly documentable to an extent that perhaps only the limits of documentary forms impede the recent-past's total reconstruction. Does this, along with the distributable corollary of such forms – the situating of potentially infinite sites of consideration – function as the payoff for initial severance from a site of encounter, such abstraction courting commodification?
Inverting commodities' cynical machinations of consumptive desire towards other ends, can we attempt to consider a document as a thing itself, again being hyper- sensitive to the site of encounter? Alternatively, we could consider abstraction as part of a methodological step in developing a more nuanced understanding of a thing documented, aiming to reconfigure reality upon re-synthesis of concepts rendered in the abstract. Could another possibility be to imaginatively, or even forensically reconstruct a situation of encounter by way of a document?
As documenters, the documented, and considerers of documents, how can the above reflections alter our relatiomship to the past, and more decisively, what is enabled by these reflections?
Endre Roalkvam Bye | Eleanor Clare | Moa Goysdotter | Esther Leslie | Salomé Voegelin | Apichaya Wanthiang | Georg Bartisch | Michael K. Buckland | Liam Gillick | Rune Klevjer | Mohammad Salemy | Allan Sekula | Gertrude Stein | Marc Vallée
Grafters' Quarterly issue 2 was launched in December 2014 at Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen, Norway.