Joliffe's Archive 2015
Royal Holloway University of London

A creative engagement with an unarchived collection of photographic and printed scientific research material by geomorphologist Ivan P. Joliffe. Images were selected and ordered through making intuitive connections according to mood, objects and aesthetics rather than using neat classification methods employed in conventional archiving.  

The research resulted in a video of a slide projection of 54 images accompanied by an audio account of the artist-archival process. 

Ivan P. Joliffe’s collection is held by the Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London


An unmarked box, packed with hundreds of slides. I randomly select a few. Placing them on the light box, I peer in to the windows of another time. 

I reach in to the box for more, and my working surface quickly becomes crowded. A chessboard of picture objects. 

Beach pebbles, the sea surface, maps, unidentifiable things and shapes. Snaps of shorelines, trees and fields, village houses, graphs,signs of warning of coastal dangers. A diver, people turning over a capsized boat, diagrams. A man reading a newspaper on the beach. Slides black and white, bleached with age, vibrant with colour.

I select, arrange and rearrange from the disjointed group, and set up the projector.

The plug goes in to its socket, the ‘on’ switch flicked.
A whirring sound. A plume of dust, smelling pleasantly burnt. A round-edged square of light on the screen.
I press a small black button and the remembered, satisfying click sounds, as the first slide is put in to place, a forgotten image is thrown forward in to a new space.