Inspiration & Silly Archives

At a party Spooky is Dj-ing, Judith approaches Spooky.  Knowing him by reputation, she is curious to hear what he has to say about the knowledge present in “the low culture.”

(After introductions) Judith: I must confess, I’m awfully curious about this “Spooky” persona you’ve come up with.

Spooky (laughing): Many people are.  It was a project that kind of got away from me and took on a life of its own.

Judith: If I may appeal to your academic side for a moment, do you find that it inspires you in a different way than academic writings do?

Spooky: Absolutely.  Sound speaks in a way that writing doesn’t.  Literally and figuratively.  Every sound takes me on a new path; it takes me to “the edge of my thinking process.”  It develops “new languages of creativity” for me to speak.

Judith: What about alternatives?  We often spend time criticizing, but seem to rarely spend time offering an alternative.  Do you find alternatives here?

Spooky: Yes and no.  As much new as I find, it’s often old at the same time.  I dig deeper, I follow the path the sounds take me on, and then I end up right back where I started.  It’s circular.  Constant looping.

Judith: Hmm…

Spooky looks at her questioningly.

Judith: I’m inclined to think that forming alternatives, thinking differently, is not so much as finding an idea buried deep inside our brains as it is forming a new pattern of thinking.

Spooky: Sounds like the same thing I was saying.  I dig deeper, but I don’t find anything new, I simply find the old on a new path—an old idea through a new pattern of thinking.  It’s the flow.

Judith (after a short pause): Have you heard of a “silly archive”?

Spooky: Laurent Berlant.

Judith: Yes! Personally, I think that thinking differently requires a different archive, and the notion of a “silly archive” really strikes me.  It’s easier to engage with something you enjoy.  It’s the kind of archive I’ve found useful in trying to see alternatives.

Spooky: So you think my “silly archive” is my Dj-ing?

Judith: Well, yes.

Spooky (after a pause): I suppose it is.  But it’s so much more than that too.  It’s a way of unlocking a different part of myself.  As I said before, Spooky kind of took on a life of his own because of this “silly archive.”  It seems inappropriately named considering the deep affect it has on me.

Judith: Inappropriately named?  Don’t you find it the least bit silly or laughable that you find such inspiration in disco?

Spooky: Not particularly.  It speaks to me.

Judith: And animation like SpongeBob speaks to me—it’s like an untilled field waiting for someone to plow it.  But it’s SpongeBob.

Spooky: Well, perhaps the name suits your archive better than mine.

Judith: Regardless of the name, how do you think someone can find their own “silly archive” so that they can contribute their own alternate theories?


Class Discussion: What might be your silly archive?  How do you think you might go about trying to find it?  Is it actually “silly”?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s