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The Repeater Archive

Biyi Wen

The Repeater Archive (2020) is an archival project that animates the repeater, a language learning aid device used in China during the 90s, and the experiences surrounding the use of this device.

The structure of the archive is reflective of the MediaWiki space, composed of thematic categories and pages documenting archival items. It is animated by a series of video lectures that feature "Onebigear", a charater acting as the navigator for the archive. "Onebigear" embodies the childhood experiences from the archive creator, and embeds the archive within the historical time-frame and cultural context the repeater situated in.

More specifically, the archive elaborates on the affective features of the repeater: the disembodying process of transforming voices in situ to manipulative data; the disciplinary agenda of conforming to authenic accents; and the affective actions of interacting with the repeater interface.

The archive vividly testifies to the idea of the "anarchive", a archive activated by intimate experiences, productive nostalgia, and collective memory. As a generation of users came of age and dispose of the memories attached to the repeater, the archive creates another layer of space to critically document and reflect upon these memories.

Copyleft: This is a free work, you can copy, distribute, and modify it under the terms of the Free Art License http://artlibre.org/licence/lal/en/

Biyi Wen (Foshan, 1992) holds incessant interests for media archaeology and archival practices. That said, her work orients with the two axis noted in the bracket: Foshan, a southern city in China known for household electronics manufacturing; and 1992, the time to define looking back and projecting forward. The interests for archaeology and archiving radiate from these orientations, and evolve into more intricate and complex forms of narration and storytelling.

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