Nathalie Joffre


x file [Data History Voyage 2]
Installation. Empty and engraved pendant funerary urns, stainless steel cables, sand and earth.

During the shooting of Data History Voyage, on the Roman site of Dorchester in England, Nathalie Joffre was confronted with the loss of digital data. This disappearance led her to conceive, parallel to the film, a funerary monument for this deleted memory. It takes the form of a mobile composed of empty funerary urns suspended by cables. On each one the name of the lost digital file is engraved. Each etching, the artist uses the font "inconsolata" (also present in the video History Voyage Data), widely used in computer coding. In response to this mobile, on the ground, a heap of sand with the remnants of earth collected from the Dorchester site. The sand recalls silica, a component of fibre optics, the main transmitter of digital data, but also time passing.

The artist mourns her images by proposing an artwork that gives form to a henceforth invisible memory.


x file [Data History Voyage 2], Nathalie Joffre (2016)
Map. Inkjet print on fine art satin paper, 70x100 cm

This map is a plan view of the installation that shows the positioning of the various urns symbolizing the lost digital files.

Project supported by the NEARCH European program/INRAP and the « Art & Archeology » artiste residency at the CENTQUATRE Paris. In partnership with Oxford University.

Data History Voyage, Nathalie Joffre ( 2016)
HD video, stereo sound, 7'54''.

Data History voyage takes an interest in the subjective experience of an artist during a archeological dig. In July 2015, Nathalie Joffre followed the excavations of the Roman site of Dorchester in England with the Oxford university teams. On this archaeological site built in the middle of shared gardens of a small village, she followed professionals but also amateur archaeologists on a daily basis. In the course of her encounters and her observation of the dig, she took an interest in the transformation of her own memory. Childhood memories, objects, images resurfaced. Unexpectedly, she lost part of her memory, this time the digital one, during the dig. The digital data of the shoot taken at the start of the excavation disappeared. In Data history voyage, the artist mixes these subjective experiences of intimate and digital memory with those of the archaeological dig.

The editing is modelled on her own experience, superimposing temporalities, interfering with any linear reading. In the same way, the soundtrack combines transformed and remixed sounds of the site with sounds of computer research.

The artist questions here memory in its different forms. She confronts the immaterial digital memory with age-old gestures of the dig, as well as the broken up experience of intimate memory.

Watch trailer here.