Indrek Ibrus and Maarja Ojamaa introduce the article ‘The Creativity of Digital (Audiovisual) Archives: A Dialogue Between Media Archaeology and Cultural Semiotics’
Much writing on, first, analogue and, later, digital archives has focused on related power-dynamics and the structuring effects of archives and their technologies on discursive freedom and cultural dynamics. In recent years, however, work within the media archaeology domain, especially by Wolfgang Ernst, has addressed how the specific materialities of digital archives, and the nature of their algorithms and particular functions, could be seen to facilitate dynamics in cultures. This article sets this work in dialogue with the cultural semiotics of Juri Lotman, whose late work focused on how communicative processes between and within different subsystems of culture facilitate their dynamic change and the production of new forms and cultural systems. The article suggests further interdisciplinary dialogue between media archaeology and cultural semiotics in order to understand the role of archives in facilitating communicative processes and interlinking in culture and the emergence of novelties – that is, for understanding the ‘creativity’ of archives.