Enquiry and Innovation through UAL’s Archives and Special Collections.

Digital Materialities in the Archive

Bernd Behr, Louisa Minkin, Elizabeth Wright

Annihilation Event is one gathering of an ongoing research project made possible by the UAL Archives and Special Collections. 

Emerging digital technologies challenge us to develop new paradigms for archival and creative practices. 3D capture processes are re-shaping the Digital Humanities. Digital capture processes such as Photogrammetry and 3D scanning contribute to a wider engagement with artefacts, their materialities, contexts and itineraries. These ‘digital objects’ offer new opportunities for documentation, dissemination and artistic intervention, which, in turn, enrich the material, interpretative and contextual narratives of the original artefacts.

Tom Allison’s digital inversion of gingerbread moulds from the ILEA Collection at Camberwell.

How can new technologies assist archives in bringing fragile artefacts to a wider audience? What forms of dissemination and interactivity do these novel forms of documentation enable? To what extent does a virtual reproduction produce new forms and materialities? How can these ‘data objects’ in turn become the raw material for artistic practice, opening new avenues for creative engagement with archives?

Patination example from the CSM Study Collection, CSM Photosculpture Project // Copy Project