Schriftatlas I, 3a

Yet, what of this activity of collecting per se? What of collection? Is it not, tacitly, an obsessive act of repetition, each new item acquired simply to re-open the same wound, to hack away at the stump of a tree long since felled? Or is the act of collecting—each collecting act—rather an autonomous and unrepeatable gesture? Is that which truly characterizes collecting as a practice not but the singularization, the separation of each and every object from all former contexts, imagined or confirmed, actual or ideal; not but the categorical displacement and re-placing of an object into an entirely improper space (whether trouser pocket, closet drawer, shop vitrine, gallery wall, official archive… or deep hole dug in dark, dank earth), thereby producing a wholly discrete and uniterable set of properties of relation between object and context? Is not, then, the act of collecting a productive, rather than destructive impulse, an inventive drive that seeks not so much to “commit to memory” as to liberate from recollection? (I, 3a)