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Which clippings match 'Pictorial Inventory' keyword pg.1 of 1
06 FEBRUARY 2012

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 MARCH 2006

Chris Marker's image-inventory: thesaurus rather than taxonomy

"[Chris] Marker's production of an inventory for his filmic archive through gathering – shooting, finding existing footage, and editing – is enabled by this double power of the image. On one hand, the image–inventory simply lists images as instances of a collection, allowing each to resonate on its own, evoking its own possible meaning, descriptions, feelings, and thoughts and on the other, the shared qualitative aspect that links the images creates a pictorial inventory or catalogue of the growing filmic archive. The particularity of this catalogue is noteworthy. In linking images or collection–items by shared qualitative criteria, rather than by qualitative measures, this inventory constitutes a thesaurus of the collection rather than a taxonomy or classification. For, whereas the former loosely groups instances conceptually (words/images sharing a concept), the latter tightly organises the archive nomologically (according to a law: alphabetically, chronologically, etc.). This difference is crucial: classification is linear, laying out flat the vast heterology that is the archive, taming difference through a system that is based on sameness – items or terms belonging to the same latter of the alphabet, originating in the same year, being related to the same place etc. – imposing order through a movement from the many to the one. The inventory–building of the thesaurus, on the other hand, is rhizomorphous, starting from similarities and affinities and proceeding three–dimensionally from the one to the many, from similarity to difference. The shared quality or concept, the broader term of the thesaurus, moves through analogical bifurcations and creates a network of related, narrower terms, and arborescence of possible meanings without a classificatory claim on, or hope for precision, certainty and unique locatability. As such, the thesaurus enables a radically different kind of access to the archive from that gained through classification. Classification privileges individual items of a collection through a structure which allows their precise tracking while the thesaurus creates a conceptual archive from the archive that highlights the connections between items."

(Uriel Orlow, 2002)

2). Orlow, Uriel (2002) 'Chris Marker: The Archival Powers of the Image'. In: Comay, Rebecca and Knechtel, John, (eds.) Alphabet city #8: lost in the archives. Alphabet City Media Inc., Toronto, Canada, pp. 436–451. ISBN 0887846432

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TAGS

affinity • arborescence • archivecatalogueChris Markerclassificationcollectionconceptual archivedifferencedigressive approachephemera • heterology • inventory • loose classification • multi-media collagistnetworknomologicalorderingpictorial inventoryrhizomerhizomorphousSans Soleil (1983)similaritytaxonomythesaurus • Uriel Orlow • video essayvideo synthesizervisual essay

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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