Accepted paper:

The archive as objectively offered object


Christos Lynteris (University of St Andrews)

Paper short abstract:

Based on archival experience in China, Russia and California, this paper builds on Platt’s notion of the archive as a field event by approaching anthropological archival research from the viewpoint of the notion of the ‘objectively offered object’ developed by the Romanian Surrealist Gherasim Luca.

Paper long abstract:

Tristan Platt’s work is transversed by an enduring critical approach to the Archive. This paper examines Platt’s notion of “the Archive as a field event” by relating my research experience with archives in China, Russia and California to the notion of the ‘Objectively Offered Object’ developed by the Romanian Surrealist poet and theorist Gherasim Luca (1913-1994). The paper will problematise anthropological work with and within archives as underlined not by evental encounters with exceptional or extraordinary items, but as a constant process of desiring production vis-à-vis the Archive; a process based not so much on ‘discovery’, as on ‘immersement’. Following Deleuze’s reception of Luca’s theory, the paper will argue that this process germinates an anthropological rapport to the Archive as the “stammer [of History] in itself [and] with itself”.

panel P18
The anthropology of connections: ethnography, archive and language in the work of Professor Tristan Platt