Archives inhabit and reflect our temporal realities. To show us evidence of the past; to record this, here, now; to aid us in looking to the future. Archives show the very human construction of continuum. From an archival perspective, time and timelessness are a perpetual push-pull. We work to preserve the historical record in perpetuity, but we must balance that with the imperative and finite use of materials. We wonder what to save for an historical record that contains yesterday, today, and all the things we take for granted. We build metadata constructs to cement content and context for what we hope is a very long time. So being an archivist and engaging with this remarkable cohort’s designs for time for Metaproject10 had a bit of poetry about it. These students and their designs ruminated on the theme in kaleidoscopic ways. This work investigates awareness of both the internal and the external; designs about people gathering together and designs about death; marking time spent on ritual or serendipity; charting an hour or a lifetime; emotion and discipline in our uses of time; and the fascinating acknowledgement that human perception of the passage of time is deeply fluid. Landmark years are excellent for archives. We are often called upon to make accessible the documents of history, and to in turn record the activities of remembrance. These waypoints are vital to a human understanding of our world, but in the deliberate marking of time we often overlook the timelessness of process. The archive of the Metaproject work allows us to pause and engage with that–each thing must grow one step at a time, and like the archive that growth is ongoing. Designers seem to understand this particularly well. So we are proud to add some of the labor and imagination of this cohort to the story of RIT.
Ella von Holtum, Assistant Archivist
RIT Archive Collections, Cary Graphic Arts Collection