Sniff and sneak through my archives

‘(6/24/1996 9:44pm, Personal)”
Will she (either of them) share the love of pornography? Or at least, art? I shall present myself to both of them as a geniality self-flagellat%n machine. Just one bottle tonight, ok?
I shall invite them on to my journey of change, showing the way ahead. Immortality.
I will let them to sniff and sneak through my archives.

KURATOR working with dOCUMENTA (13) commissioned Constant to develop a prototype online archive project in collaboration with the Central Art Archive of the Finnish National Gallery. The project relates to the work of Erkki Kurenniemi, pioneering electro acoustic musician and inventor of early synthesizers, who has obsessively documented his life.

Erkki Kurenniemi has documented his life but not archived it in any traditional sense, and didn’t develop a systematic model for what he calls a template for all human life (reference needed). In his profound techno-enthusiasm, he relies on future quantum computers to make sense of it all. By 2048, Erkki states that the technology will be ready for the advent of this new artificial form of intelligence. The quantum computer will sort by itself the documents he has been recording, capturing, filming, photographing, drawing, and talking about.1

We have no quantum computers to make sense of it all today yet a series of circumstances have given the project of archiving Kurenniemi’s work some urgency. On the one hand, different important institutions of the art world have recently shown a growing interest in his career (Documenta, Kunsthal Aarhus, Kiasma, etc). On the other, the health condition of Erkki who suffered from a stroke a few years ago and that severely affected his ability to speak is a concern. According to his own wishes, the entire collection of documents he was keeping in his apartment has been transferred to the Central Art Archive of the Finnish National Gallery in Helsinki.

An archive is about to begin.

Usually when invited to work on an archive, the material has been already processed, ordered, and a classification scheme is more or less decided. Our role as “active archivists” is often to negotiate between the classifying scheme already in place and the resistance of the data to comply with it. In this case, however, it is left to us to investigate the material and try to understand its specific character and qualities.

Therefore this text will not describe an archive but a speculation on the nature of the material that constitute it, as well as a series of reflections and experiments on how to approach it.

Continue reading: Different orders coexist

1. It is hard to tell if it is a genuine belief or a ruse to avoid the issue of the treatment of the accumulated material. This is maybe a sign that his interest was genuine in making an archive, but more in the way of life a self-archival project would allow him to adopt.

One Response to Sniff and sneak through my archives

  1. Jorma Honkanen says:

    If you need help on preserving Apple II 5.25″ floppies to modern disk images (140Kb, .dsk) please contact me. I have hardware and tools to preserve floppies (saved on USB-key).