Site/Archive/Cite is an augmented reality art intervention based on the National Archives at Seattle that interrogates the relationship of archive to place and public. At a time when many institutions hold out hope for digital accessibility to broaden the audience for their holdings, the realities of what gets digitized and who has access do not always live up to those heightened expectations. What is cited on a website may only be a fraction of the materials available onsite, providing a partial—and highly subjective—window into a collection that fundamentally gains meaning through public access and interaction. What ghosts haunt the archive? Who has put them there? And how might we both bear witness to and intervene into the construction of a public archive?

We are grateful for the opportunity to show this work at the Seattle Art Book Fair, May 6–7, 2023 at Washington Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

In two large-scale prints that layer and distort archival holdings, visitors can materialize the spectral presence of digital documents, inviting us to re-envision an archive that is simultaneously here and gone. We invite you to take home a poster and open your own portal into the collection.

About the Artists

Carrie Bodle is a visual and sound artist whose immersive installations explore the relationships between art and science, translating inaudible or invisible phenomena into sensible experiences. Amaranth Borsuk is a poet and book artist whose work focuses on text’s materiality across print and digital media to explore reading in the expanded field.

Our collaborative work draws on our complementary backgrounds to engage audiences in site-specific embodied interactions with poetry through physical installations, soundworks, and artists’ ephemera. Each of our works is a performance by the viewer / participant, whether their body must complete a circuit within it, or whether they contribute their own words to activate the space.

Two women with short brown hair standing in a brightly-lit warehouse space.

In 2016, we collaborated on Wave Signs, an installation for the Giant Steps: Artist Residency on the Moon exhibition at King Street Station, Seattle, WA. This installation envisaged a site-specific artwork that would send messages back and forth between Earth and the Moon and utilized a two-channel sound installation that visitors could pass between to experience a gradually mutating poem.

Our subsequent collaborations have included participatory performances at the Henry Art Gallery and the Olympic Sculpture Park that invited viewers to consider their own relationship with the moon by playing with an interactive volvelle we created that used a lunar map to generate performance scores from historical and contemporary poems about the moon. That project, Moon Signs, was created for the Henry Art Gallery’s The Untuning of the Sky, a series of outdoor events that brought together music, poetry, and film inspired by the mystery and wonder of the sky at night.

Olivia Oomen is a designer participating in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program and majoring in Industrial Design at the University of Washington. By merging design and emerging technologies, she aims to create innovative solutions that can shape cultural norms and solve complex problems.