The Triangle Fire Open Archive was created by Buscada, in collaboration with the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, one of the worst workplace disasters in American history. An ongoing participatory online archive, it understands the significance of the Triangle Fire site through historical narrative and human connection, inspired by the widely varying labor, safety, art, activist and pedagogical perspectives of the Coalition. The Archive’s website invites the public to contribute objects which tell one aspect of the Triangle Fire / Asch Building story. They may be embedded in its moment of conflagration in 1911, or may refer to the site’s influence in the everyday world as we know it.
Vernacular objects help make the unfathomable concrete, and make the distinct connected. As part of this project, Buscada helps to solicit objects for the Open Archive, and photographs these objects, often with their contributors. By juxtaposing individual stories and objects on the website, Buscada invites readings through a range of thematic lenses, by which the collection as a whole gives context to each individual contribution, imparting a rich sense of the human and political importance at the heart of this site.
By collecting objects in person and online, the Open Archive straddles the boundary between the virtual and the real. Likewise, the March 2011 Pop-up Exhibition of the Open Archive at the Brooklyn Historical Society brought what is usually only seen online into the real world.
Visit the site : The Triangle Fire Open Archive
Exhibited: Brooklyn Historical Society, March 2011
Listen : Stories from the Triangle Fire Open Archive were featured on the Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, March 25, 2011