This text by Wolfgang Ernst is the keynote lecture of the conference The Anarchival Impulse in the Uses of the Image in Contemporary Art, organised by the University of Barcelona. In «Aura and Temporality: The Insistence of the Archive», the author analyses how the archive in the traditional sense, based on rigorous classification and secrecy, must be redefined in the light of the enormous potential for dissemination and organisation that arises from the digital media: archives are now ephemeral, adapted to various supports and, for the first time, more than a specific space, they occupy time.
Wolfgang Ernst is Professor of Media Theories at the Institute for Musicology and Media Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin. He is the author of several works in the area of media archaeology and archiving, including Das Rumoren der Archive: Ordnung aus Unordnung(2002), Im Namen von Geschichte: Sammeln, Speichern (Er)zählen (2003) and Das Gesetz des Gedächtnisses. Medien und Archive am Ende (des 20. Jahrhunderts)(2007). His books Digital Memory and the Archive (edited by Jussi Parikka) and Chronopoetik. Zeitweisen und Zeitgaben technischer Medien were published in 2012.