Week 5 – Blog Post

As the phrase ‘archive fever’ was new to me, I was quite confused as to how archives are relatable to the word ‘fever’.  I’m aware that archive is the storage of information and records that can be accessed again later. A few examples are libraries, computer hard drives, social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, electronic mail, as well as address books to name a few. This concept was easy enough for me to understand because I am a consumer or participants of some of these archives. I check my Facebook and Twitter pages regularly to keep myself included in what Ogle calls “the real-time web”. I make sure to check my e-mail daily for any urgent or important messages.

Derrida states that the word ‘fever’, in this case, does not necessarily pertain to the meaning of falling ill. In her explanation, she says: “It is to burn with a passion. It is never to rest, interminably, from searching for the archive right where it slips away. It is to run after the archive, even if there’s too much of it… it is to have a compulsive, repetitive, and nostalgic desire for the archive, an irrepressible desire to return to the origin, a homesickness, a nostalgia for the return to the most archaic place of absolute commencement.”

What came to my mind after I read this explanation are the examples of how it is popular trend to post videos on the video-sharing platform, YouTube. Every time a user uploads a video, he is adding to his archive on YouTube. Their subscribers, on the other hand, will receive notifications on these uploaded videos and would possibly then visit the site to watch them. Individuals such as Natalie Tran and Ray William Johnson have millions of people subscribed to their channels on YouTube. As planning, filming and editing these videos tend to take a while, fans of these famous channels would always wait for new videos to be uploaded each time. I think this relates well to archive fever as subscribers display a “compulsive, repetitive, and nostalgic desire for the archive”. Here is one of Natalie Tran’s recent videos in which thanks her subscribers and fans for waiting for her next upload on YouTube.

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