A PEOPLE'S ARCHIVE OF SINKING AND MELTING is now open every Wednesday for use and contributions at the Prelinger Library (prelingerlibrary.org) in San Francisco.
The archive is a growing collection of items contributed from places that may disappear owing to the combined physical, political, and economic impacts of climate change, including glacial melting, sea level rise, coastal erosion, and desertification.
Through common but differentiated collections, contributed materials form an archive of the future anterior; what will have been.
The materials in the archive mark the asymmetry of present or anticipated loss, standing in as proxies for the contributors' recognition of the geopolitical production (or spatial politics) of precarity and slow-onset dispossession. Together, the contributions form one material record among many; a collection of
community-gathered evidence, a public record, a midden.
The archive operates from the principle that any thing is equally valuable as a record of present or projected future disappearance of a place, as chosen by someone there. A contribution doesn't have to originate from that location - it can be anything that happens to be there, including detritus, flotsam or jetsam.
As of 2013, the archive contains contributions from Anvers Island (Antarctica), Australia, Cape Verde, Santiago de Cuba, Germany, Greenland, Venice (italy), Kivalina (Alaska), Mexico, Nepal, New Orleans, New York City, Panama, Peru, Senegal, and Tuvalu.