A Privileged Source of Information


Laura Di Gregorio


Deleting is a selective process belonging to our daily life. Both small and significant deletions lead us towards tensions, (e)motions, frustrations or satisfactions, worries or happiness. Every deletion is a radical act. Something disappears forever whether leaving a trace or not. Is it just or unjust? Is it necessary or unnecessary? Following the deleting channels we reach the secret core of any creative activity. By deleting, one produces a transformation. It can be a writing process as described by Nava Semel, or a factual condition, that nonetheless becomes a never-ending source of inspiration, as occurs in the life of Kim Young-ha.


By reflecting on mankind’s history, one thinks immediately about the adoption of “deletion” in a very dramatic way – one can be reminded of destruction and genocides. Cancellations, annulments, abolitions have been the results of many types of fundamentalist acts on the part of terrorists, and even by the civil society; we follow an example of this phenomenon with regards to the current situation in Indonesia.


On the other hand, there are also political acts of deletion that could have a clear positive meaning. It seems a paradox, but under particular conditions, deleting is the best way to first recognise, and then remember, crimes. This is what happened in the reconciliation process of South Africa. The presented analysis of Morocco’s national process will show one such procedure, although by denouncing the strong weaknesses of its implementation.


It is true that the relationship between deletion and memory is fascinating. The intense debate about the safeguarding of cultural heritage, for example, is evident in the complex matter of digital libraries. What libraries do or do not save is no longer a casual choice, but is becoming a more and more demanding issue that has to be rationalised and coordinated at international level. On the opposite side, for many contemporary artists, art is just the disappearing process; they produce self-destroying art installations, in which their vanishing is a fabulous gift to memory and to human experience. Art takes the form of precariousness, reflecting the intrinsic and unstable dynamic of our existence.


So, I would say: make your choice, and delete well!