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Redefining the performing arts archive. Archival Science

TitleRedefining the performing arts archive. Archival Science
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsJones S, Abbott D, Ross S
JournalArchival Science
Date Published08/2009

This paper investigates representations of performance and the role of the archive. Notions of record and archive are critically investigated, raising questions about applying traditional archival definitions to the performing arts. Defining the nature of performances is at the root of all difficulties regarding their representation. Performances are live events, so for many people the idea of recording them for posterity is inappropriate. The challenge of creating and curating representations of an ephemeral art form are explored and performance-specific concepts of record and archive are posited. An open model of archives, encouraging multiple representations and allowing for creative reuse and reinterpretation to keep the spirit of the performance alive, is envisaged as the future of the performing arts archive.