Active Archive


In her book, Dramaturgy in Motion, Katherine Profeta uses the phrase ‘active archive’. She does this in reference to her research and how she gathers information for future use. The word archive, as defined by Merriam-Webster, means a repository or collection of information. An archive refers to a place that preserves historical documents.

 

When speaking of research, Profeta introduces us to a new archive. This archive stems from a link created between research and inspiration. The new archive refers to a collection of information and processes created during her research. She states that with this new archive can come new exploration. She denotes the phrase ‘active archive’ to describe this collection of information. From my understanding, an ‘active archive’ composes of tools like skills and techniques. These tools are not only relevant in learning about the past but also helps to discover future potential. Profeta compares an ‘active archive’ to the fragments of a house. By this she means that the information is not stagnant but can help to link the past and present together. This allows us to create future techniques based on the old ones.

 

From my past understanding of the word archive, it was hard to consider it as being active. An archive, to me, represents a building filed with historical information. Henceforth, it cannot be active. The phrase ‘active archive’ represents the way in which one uses that information. Profeta explains that it does not consists of text that historians can read and copy. It entails more of learnt behavior, such as skills and techniques, that can be used throughout time and improve. This is the difference between a regular archive and an active one.

Works Cited

Merriam-Webster "Definition of archive." Accessed 6 Jan 2018. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/archive. Profeta, Katherine. "Research and Audience" Dramaturgy in Motion. 61-138. USA: Library of Congress, 2015.