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Archiving all the way down

Archiving all the way down I
Publication available on
Maud Vande Veire Dimensions: 36mm x 20mm / Pages: 172 / Print: digital print, embossing / Publisher: From Me To You Publications / First Edition: 100 / Year: 2018 / ISBN: 978-94-91243-06-6

Archiving all the way down I, selection of pages / 2018

Archiving all the way down I, detail of the map / 2018


This straight line without starting point is in fact not straight at all. To the left you find a spasmodic pattern that is hard to describe. The closest thing to it is a child’s first attempt to write its own name. Some sections are more mature; they have smooth curves that now and then lead to an area resembling a mirror image of this page.

This line represents a period in one person’s artistic life, but it could as well represent a part of any man’s everyday life . Every archive of artistic projects here can easily be replaced by a timeline of the great moments in one’s life.


Series of finished creations ready to be archived. The finishing of a project is a moment of great significance — like giving birth, one of the most powerful of life’s experiences. More than one artist has declared his projects to be his children. We will follow this creation, represented by an image of budding life, through different stages of archiving, from the making of the first photograph till…


Like all parents most artists can’t let the early life of one’s creation roll by without photographing it extensively from every angle.

This red frame makes it easy to see how the previous step is integrated in the next.


Now information is added to the pictures. No matter how overwhelming the experience of labor and creation, it doesn’t always prevent the loss of our memories. So one here mentions the dimensions, the used materials and the dates of creation.
Later on one casts text and images in a simple layout that guarantees every accomplishment its own page before being printed.
Some events and creations are accompanied by longer texts, which may disappoint us because they don’t disclose one’s intentions.
The ambiguity and indirectness reinforce our impression that unspoken and unconscious motivations underlie some stages of the archival process we are following. Under the rational form of these pages and files we suspect a deep fear of loss and oblivion.
Our guess seems to be confirmed. Having made a complete record of one’s creation one could consider the work done, but instead moves on to the next step. It’s time to go public! Is there a better way to get out of isolation and suppress the fear of oblivion than to go online?
But wait, aren’t we missing something? Why did all of this take so long? Could it be that other fears and desires were interfering? How do we know that this creation or any other full-grown child that has left the house or studio will survive and won’t get harmed? What if not that many people are interested? What if there are some critical reactions? What about being totally rejected? What if people spew their bile?
God knows what finally gets one over the hump — the fantasy of success, a partner who lures one out of one’s lair …
All of this should make us very cautious about the content of this online archive. We should look for the slightest sign of embellishment. We should be especially sensitive to the use of slick images, elaborate storytelling, highly regarded references, academic language, and conventions like footnotes.


It is better to leave open whether the level of detail and serpentine character in this elaborate archive were designed to beef up a few feeble projects and to mislead the critics, or if both are the result of the confrontation with the full scope of one’s accomplishments. Whatever spirit caused its intricacy; the output is so rich that it can in itself be considered a totally new creation.


At this point many would recommend a shortening of the tail. To them, how strange the next step may appear!


Knowing that online space is roamed by people far more rude than those that reject and insult and far more intrusive than the erudite and eloquent who analyse and classify — that it is the domain of fraudulent types who mislead and extort, who steal and destroy what belongs to another — one can easily conclude that online space is not the safest environment to store an archive.
Still assuming that alongside the desire to transcend the ephemeral is a tendency to keep things under control, a tendency shared with the more erudite, which steers one further along this spiral path, it seems only natural to save the archive as a printed file whose well-structured and comprehensive form should make one as suspicious as did its content.


Translation of the online page to a paper spread requires some modifications in the original layout.


A full paper version of the up to date online archive is made available to the public. This publication allows for the addition of new projects. A detailed map guides the reader through the long and convoluted genesis of the paper archive and its immediate archival future.


Warning! If you are experiencing dizziness or nausea while reading this map, you should immediately put it aside. Chasing one’s tail can be very exhausting!


Wouldn’t it be a pity not to consider such a beautiful publication as a real piece of art? With its deliberate design it is certainly a valuable addition to the list of creations.


Photographing every page and the map of the publication.


Pressure in the ears experienced at this moment is no reason for panic. Rather it should make one reflect on the nature of the spiral path one is following: is one moving up or down, cleaving the sky or digging the ground?


The lack of need for a new layout offers a welcome rest at this point.


A new entry is added to the online archive.


The character and size of the added pages do not justify calling the modified online archive a ‘new creation’


Printable file format of the new web page.


A new spread is designed according to the fixed layout.


Some further comments about the continuation of this process:
As one can tell, just following this path alone is already time-consuming and even at times boring and dull. Going through carrying on the process itself without major reward is almost unbearable. We made assumptions about motivations and expected rewards. But the experiences just described teach us that the road leads downwards, that there is no lifeline, no prospect for delivery, that maybe there is no path at all, just one long fall. Why then continue? In hope of a parachute? But what use is a parachute when the course is infinite, the pit bottomless? Why and how continue in this hopelessness?


The new spreads are added to the existing publication…


Archiving all the way down II, poster / 2018