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Window Gallery: Thoughts of a Digital Archivist

Clara Chen
September 1 – October 16, 2020

THOUGHTS OF A DIGITAL ARCHIVIST: by Clara Chen (she/they) is an evolving piece in response to her role as an archive assistant at Neutral Ground Artist Run Centre.

The archival process is one of re-animation. An introspective endeavour in post-spectatorship. You become friends with unfamiliar people and places. You seek within yourself the same nodes of reflection, striving for sensitivity or humbleness towards these bodies of work; not to be simply reduced to a spreadsheet data point. Can digital files become haunted? I look at images of eyes and hands who have reigned before me and I wonder if they see me too. In real life, I sort through boxes of documents and brochures, and out of date light fixtures, handled and touched for art exhibited in my absence.
Digital media possesses an uncertain finality. We feel these underlying anxieties. We try not to be shallow. What is not tactile but still holds place in the world? An illumination of the metaphysical.

CLARA CHEN: was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, with family from the Guangdong and Hong Kong regions of China. Clara’s work stems from interest and exploration of migration, separation, and the ways in which we are intertwined with cyberspace. A member of the CBC Creator Network, Clara is a practicing expanded media artist.

Keep updated on this evolving piece through social media, as new AR and video components are added to the window.

Find more of Clara’s work at and @cyberspacevoid.