MA Art and Science, Winner, 2016
Sarah Craske’s work uses microbiology to speculate about the value of physical archival practice as we evolve into a digital future. Sarah uses a 1735 edition of Ovid’s Metamorphosis to show how history can go beyond an object’s textual value. When incubating the book’s bacteria, Sarah found that biological colonies developed far more readily on pages of Latin text as opposed to English; suggesting a greater level of touch from readers when they faced language difficulties. An object’s physicality can be just as revealing as its textual content, and Sarah’s microbiological practice is a powerful affirmation of this.
Sarah explains: “Knowledge itself is continually being redefined and accessed more immediately while acquisition and storage of knowledge is moving from the real to the virtual world.
“The expansion of digital material prompts the question: what will be our eventual relationship with the physical archive? Will it hold any value?”
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