Issue Number Six: The Total Archive

Issue Number Six: The Total Archive

Edited by Boris Jardine and Christopher Kelty

March 2016: Vast accumulations saturate our world: phone calls and emails stored by security agencies; every preference of every individual collected by advertisers; ID numbers, and maybe an iris scan, for every Indian; hundreds of thousands of whole genome sequences; seed banks of all existing plants, and of course, books… all of them. Just what is the purpose of these optimistically total archives, and how are they changing us?

This issue of Limn asks authors and artists to consider how these accumulations govern us, where this obsession with totality came from and how we might think differently about big data and algorithms, by thinking carefully through the figure of the archive.

Contributors: Miriam Austin, Jenny Bangham, Reuben Binns, Balázs BodóGeoffry C. Bowker, Finn Brunton, Lawrence Cohen, Stephen Collier, Vadig De Croehling, Lukas Engelmann, Nicholas HA Evans, Fabienne Hess, Anna HughesBoris Jardine, Emily Jones, Judith Kaplan, Whitney Laemmli, Andrew Lakoff, Rebecca Lemov, Branwyn Poleykett, Mary Murrell, Ben Outhwaite, Julien Prévieux, and Jenny Reardon.