In any case, the larger question is about what level of extinction of memories are we dealing with? The memory that is the technological memory in a harddrive, that sustains our social memory (two different things, already)? The cultural memory of humankind? Or memory as something that sustains any sort of a complex system to «live»? In other words, what if a planetary memory is what we were after all? The dried out sandlands, the dead oceans speak of a memory of a different kind than the archivist is used to.
This memory is also long-term, Szerszynski reminds us: it is a memory of the planet and its outer-planetary existence, and yet of a constant relevance to us as entangled to such systemic qualities that unfold during its lifespan.7 Every thing across the scale of being is embedded in a dynamic, rhythmic existence.
The archive works against itself – this is the «mal d’archive» (Derrida 1995, 14). Whether it is the very strata of the rock, or an archive created by humans in order to record Earth’s memories and what it knows, the archive’s very form of resistance to forgetting makes a more final forgetting possible – the hiding or destruction of the archive. The closed archive of the solid body of the Earth is now being opened but at the same time ransacked