PROJECT 1B [The Ark]
The project aims to preserve what is left of Plymouths pre-war records, historical matter, and memory, much of which was destroyed in the fires of the Blitz, through the implementation of an oral archive and archival shaft which expands to meet the influx of new records coming into the archive.
The oral archive initiative aims to store the memories of those that have directly experience both pre-war Plymouth, war time Plymouth and the subsequent reconstruction of the city under the Abercrombie Plan. These recordings are played through speakers in a room accessible through a barrel vaulted tunnel, through which the sound resonates as a blur of voices, as a user nears the speakers individual voices come into focus, sharing their experience of Plymouth. Through this direct form of translation, a better understanding of the city and its history is strived for, where historical matter, urban fabric, or photographs simply do not exist.
Physical records are stored into 'archival modules' which are then lowered into the shaft, this shaft, and its perpetual construction, then become a measure of the city, through its records and items created by the population.
Exploring the effects of the Plymouth Blitz and the destruction of the city, and how these stories, of a generation who soon won't be with us, can be perpetuated.
The project introduces the idea of perpetuation and preservation of both memory and physical matter, as well as exploring the effects of the loss of an entire cities fabric upon the identity and collective memory and knowledge of the population.