Archives

For this assignment I wanted to look at some of the more creative archives created that I could access online. I found that the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York has quite a few very interesting archives on their website. One that really caught my eye was an archive created by Emily Spivack. The concept of her archive was to track the outfits of every guest to the MOMA starting November 1st of 2017 to January 28th, 2018. It allows you to actually reach the archive and read what each guest wrote about either their outfits or the outfit of a person they saw at the museum. It was very interesting to read the different ways guest would describe outfits. Some were very detailed, they would describe every article of clothing they were wearing, as where others would simply write “sweatshirt”. One of my favorites was from January 27th and it simply said “All-black-err’thang fashion”. I enjoyed seeing how personality can be shown not just through what a person was wearing, but also how they describe their outfits.

Looking at the metadata of the archive, everything is organized chronically by date. This allows you to see how often visitors entered the museum and peak hours at the museum. The data also shows trends in outfits by months due to weather, current pop culture and other facts described by the guest (such as being pregnant, handicapped, etc).

This is a very interesting archive that I ending up finding and is very easy to get lost in. The diversity at the MOMA is definitely shown with each description of an outfit and as a collective whole you can see the changes in culture throughout one year. I would recommend while looking through this archive to randomly scroll and stop to see the date, time, and then the descriptions of outfits during that time. Month to month the outfits change quite drastically and it’s very interesting to see the difference in descriptions from one guest to the next.

 

Archive:

http://everythingworn.moma.org/

 

Description:

https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/3899

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