Archives at the National Centre for Biological Sciences
Public Lecture Series
45th edition
Monthly talks framed around explorations in and around archives. Discussions by artists, archivists, academics, lawyers, teachers, journalists and others.
Body As/Of An Archive: Matter, Memory and Absence
 Sundar Sarukkai 
Friday, March 11 2022. 5:00pm.
LH1 (Haapus), National Centre for Biological Sciences
Although the idea of an archive has become excessively associated with a collection of historical records, an archive is more generally a collection that could refer to the present as well as to the past. The archive's association with materiality - of information, documents and artefacts - is in reality based on a deeper engagement with the notions of absence and the invisible. In this talk, I will use the notion of the 'body' of an archive to highlight how the philosophical ideas related to the physical body are also those that occur in the idea of an archive thus suggesting that the physical body is already the original archive. In particular, the fascinating relation between matter and memory in the context of the body reappears in the creation of an archive. I will explore this link between matter, memory and absence through this relation between the body of an archive and the body itself as an archive. 
Sundar Sarukkai works primarily in the philosophy of the natural and the social sciences. He is the founder of Barefoot Philosophers ( and is currently a Visiting Faculty at the Centre for Society and Policy, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He is the author of the following books: Translating the World: Science and Language, Philosophy of Symmetry, Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of Science, What is Science?, JRD Tata and the Ethics of Philanthropy and two books co-authored with Gopal Guru – The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory and more recently, Experience, Caste and the Everyday Social. His latest book is Philosophy for Children: Thinking, Reading, Writing and it is published in English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Bengali.  He is the Series Editor for the Science and Technology Studies Series, Routledge and the Co-Chief Editor of the Springer Handbook of Logical Thought in India.