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Tal Halpern: Archiving Nature

enc02_tal_halpern_lgImage provided by Artist's Website

Archiving Nature: Preservation Practices for a Digital Age

"Archiving Nature: Preservation Practices for the Digital Age" explores the relationship between scientific archival images and historical memory. It takes as its theme an archive of films produced from 1936 to 1976 by the ecologist and socio-biologist Austrian winner of the Nobel Prize, Karl von Frisch. These films captured and recorded the moving world of the bee. "Archiving Nature" compares the recording of the scientific research presented in films about the bee, with the preservation pratice of digitization.

Historic preservation and scientific practice are integrally related through the files they produce. Just as science seeks to capture, document, analyze, reproduce, and stop the world  to create new knowledge, historic preservation also freezes, sorts and rearranges the world to make new memories. In the process, they must make choices about what and how they should record, store and transmit such information.

Archiving Nature has the ability to bring this situation to an extreme. It takes hours of experimental films that Karl von Frisch edited as the basic units of analog film: the static and the narrative. These units are then digitized and transformed into new files with whom viewers can enter "interface" while traveling back and forth in time. Here, the conventions of movies and the natural world that produced them become basic units, from them, a digital world develops that quickly exceeds the sum of its parts and the memories of its past forms.

Extending beyond the museum space, "Archiving Nature" is a multi-project interactive sites. The users are also compelled to visit www.ethixmachine.org/archive where they can interact and record their own observations and continue rebuilding scientific and historical memory.