A database of Cypriot Artists living abroad

Accessibility and interactivity are perhaps the two main objectives of the contemporary digital archive. Additionally to the primary characteristics of the archive, collection and preservation of documents, the digital archive, in this case Interartcy, is informed by the dialogue between the collection and the users. The internet enables both the archiving process and the active involvement of the user/viewer, making online archives appealing and accessible to the general public, unlike conventional (analog) archives.

The importance of the archive lies in the collection of individual documents under the same roof, providing its user with the possibility to approach the subject of interest in multidimensional ways. Artists often deal with the preservation and promotion of their artworks individually, through their personal websites or social media pages. However, the establishment of an online database presents an overview of the contemporary artistic production by Cypriots living abroad. Such an artistic database subverts the ephemeral character of informal forms of archiving (e.g. social media) by collecting, promoting and documenting -historically and theoretically- the artworks.

The selection and coexistence of elements in an archive, creates both involuntary and voluntary associations between the hosted data, but also with those that are excluded from the archive. The user is asked to decode these dynamics, while the archive creator is required to reduce them to a minimum, ensuring the objectivity of the archive.

Finally, the biggest challenge for the digital archive is its continuous update, primarily in terms of its content, but also in terms of usability and technical upgrade, in order to remain accessible in the long run, but also relevant to the modern user and current technological advancements.

Μyrto Theocharidou
researcher, visual artist