The historian speaks minutely, concretely, for the cacophonous voices of the archive :: The speculative archive speaks cacophonously for a minute, concrete, solitary voice of history.
The archive is the source from which history is derived :: The speculative archive is derived from the projection of historical sources.
The archive is an accretion of material evidence, albeit riddled with discernible voids :: The speculative archive is a dense mist of barely discernible voids that seem always on the verge of condensing into evidence.
The archive is at once a concrete space and an abstract institution to which tangible materials have been consigned; one surveys the materials of the archive in order to make out among them a visible, legible ground for historical knowledge :: The speculative archive stems from no particular institution, but rather invokes a multiplicity of potential knowledge-spaces, each of which suggests a latent historical ground; these invocatory spaces are generated in the continual process of encountering, acquiring, and discarding the materials of the speculative archive.
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The archive has, in a sense, already taken place: one can go there, again and again, to examine its contents, which are given to examination in a form that is stable in principle :: The speculative archive has no place: it moves continually outward, in the direction of a content in perpetual movement and thus inimical to any stable formal principle or comprehensive form of examination.
The archive is mainly legible and visible; to endeavor to see and read what has been fixed to be seen and read there is to instantiate the legitamacy of the archival order :: The speculative archive functions somewhat like an apparatus for seeing and reading that which tends to elude order (even when its components assume provisional relations that resemble organized forms); rather than purvey the legible, visible forms of an underlying order, it instead gives to vision mainly that which can be known only in error and errancy.
The archive is rather like a greenhouse containing many botanical specimens within clearly ordered quadrants and marked with their proper names; each fragrance of the garden of the archive is thus accompanied by the plant or flower that emits it :: The speculative archive is comprised not of the plants and flowers in the garden themselves, but rather only of their divers essences, confused by the breeze that carries them along; this essential confusion is the evidence–at once irrefutable and inscrutable–of an arrangement of specimens that remains always just out of view.
It is from the fabric of the archive that the historian derives some small thread of history :: It is from a single, sinuous fragment of a thread of history that the speculative archive weaves its evanescent fabric.