Last week I attended Laura Wexler and Lauren Tilton’s Talk, “Image, Archive and Event: Tracking the Archive’s Odyssey,”. I was very interested by the speakers’ points about archive today, but what intrigued me the most was a question that was posed at the end of the talk. One professor questioned the lack of privacy that comes with the archive and therefore the it’s context. The professor questioned wether or not archiving is some kind of breech of privacy. This question really made me think about archive and social media today. I began to wonder if there really was such a thing as privacy when it comes to archive. Wexler and Tilton addressed the professor’s question, and told the professor that they had been in a situation where someone contacted them, stating their concern about a photograph that had been misinterpreted.
After Weller and Tilton had finished talking, another professor chimed in on the subject of privacy. This professor stated that any sort of research requires breaking privacy- the minute you begin to dig into a topic, you have exposed it. This comment really resonated with the thoughts I was having during the talk. I began to wonder…in order for something to be called private, don’t you have to have already started to expose the subject by questioning why it is private? Maybe this is a stretch, but is there really then such a thing as privacy with regards to archive? And what does something require for it to be private?