The full editors’ Introduction to Lexicon for an Affective Archive is available as a PDF download
Introductions are often written at the end, when the book that is just beyond their threshold has in fact already been written. Therefore, they resemble more the words of an adieu. The book is being archived, packed up, and closed. On the other hand, this is perhaps the first time when we, as its curators, glimpse the existence of our book as such, now that it is taking the shape that will distinguish it from all the others. For the first time the book knows that the time has come. We settle our accounts with what has been gathered inside, ready to close the gates, so that they can be opened again. The movements of closure and opening—mimicked by your turning the pages again and again—are folded one into the other, like the recto and verso of a page. What holds them together is the temporary absence of reading that is filled up with a suspended breath, a tiny affect of a hand moving, of eyes remembering and anticipating. Nothing is ostensibly happening, yet this is one moment of decision, of eventful suspension. You are the agents of time, the harbingers of a new arkhè, or beginning. You are treating the archive as though it had not yet been closed. By doing so you become capable of turning it against itself. There will be no rest in this archive, now that you have come.
- Giulia Palladini and Marco Pustianaz
Published by Intellect, NInA and Live Art Development Agency with the support of University of Roehampton’s Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance.