Expiration Date


Laurel: In my own periphery, I’m noticing people starting to approach their projects more with a specific end date, for instance. For example, recently a potential client of my roommate’s was talking about making a publication that’s specifically nine issues long, and that’s all it’s going to be. I think people are a lot more aware of the life of things and how finitude is meaningful.

Jake: I really like that. And I wonder what finite projects mean and how they should interact with archival practice when it comes to the internet. If the archive online resembles the original project closely enough isn't it effectively the same? Or is the recontextualization enough to really differentiate it?

I'm a compulsive re-editor. I've made over 1000 git commits to my personal website. Why? Most of them are useless tiny changes. So having an end is becoming increasingly crucial to me. One of the most satisfying projects I've done recently was one which I deleted from the web at the end. That's that. I don't even have the files myself.

I was thinking about this a lot last week when my Github got flagged as spam and I freaked out. But after a couple hours I was kind of pleased I wouldn't need to think about it any more. I wonder if there are healthy, practical ways to have that relief without actually deleting everything. I guess that's 'calm technology' right?

Dan: That was a big realization in social network platforms, too. Like with the expiring message of Snapchat, suddenly people realized actually it’s a good thing. Because everybody thought, “Oh, having my stuff archived on my blog forever, that’s fantastic.” And there’s sort of a complete transformation now— having my stuff expire immediately is fantastic. But this idea of having a platform expire seems like a logical next step.