[-empyre-] Video Behind: On the history

Kathy High kittyhigh at earthlink.net
Mon Sep 14 02:39:52 AEST 2015

Thanks for this great post Carolyn!

And may I add a couple thought to yours and Patrick L¹s here about

Mona Jimenez always promotes a kind of ³guerrilla archiving² which is to
preserve what you can, when you can and do as much as you can! I love this
idea ­ and think that of course things will be lost ­ look at the trashing
of ancient temples and libraries happening in Syria at present and other

I inherited the incredibly talented filmmaker Diane Bonder¹s film archive
when she passed away, too young. She left her archive to five of us. It has
been a huge honor to have been gifted this archive ­ but it is also a
struggle  - to find items, organize them, make prints from films from
Diane¹s notes, and to keep this going. It has taught us all a lot ­ about
her, how she worked, her process and how much she trusted us as artist

I propose also a kind of ³adoption² policy to be encouraged among media
makers themselves. This solo archiving business is for the birds in my
opinion. You collect my work and I will collect yours. Save as many of your
friends projects as you can handle. Make multiple archives, in multiple
places, using multiple drives and means to preserve them.

Of course,we all are deeply indebted to Sherry and ETC for their archiving
efforts. And to the Rose Goldsen Archive at Cornell for theirs! And to NYU
for offering a program in Cinema Studies teaching students media
preservation techniques (thank you Mona Jimenez)! Thanks to Video Date Bank,
Women Make Movies, Electronic Arts Intermix, V-Tape, Canadian Filmmakers,
Lux, and so many more distributors. and so many moreŠ We all thank you for
these institutional organized preservation efforts.

But I think as individuals, we too can help save the works we love.
Just a thought. 

From:  <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> on behalf of Carolyn
Tennant <carolyn.tennant at gmail.com>
Reply-To:  soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
Date:  Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 12:43 PM
To:  soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
Subject:  Re: [-empyre-] Video Behind: On the history

----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
³The longevity has been a surprise.²

Thank goodness for the Beer Cooler, Sherry, and for the (relatively) stable
environmental conditions you¹ve provided for those tapes. Tim mentions that
the ETC tapes ³all still run on standard tape players.² While the 1Ž2²
open-reel and UMatic tapes are more hardy than later formats (Ugh, 8mm?
digi-8? Run!!), I¹m sure you¹d agree the playback success you¹ve had has
much to do with their previous steward. This surprise is a gift to both the
current archivists and future audiences. A few years ago I worked with an
intern, a High Roads Fellow from Cornell actually, and we were discussing
the issues around video preservation.  She mentioned to me something really
revealing: ³I thought I could just Google anything and find it on Youtube.²
The expectation is there. We don¹t necessarily think we need to preserve
everything, but then who are we to judge what makes the cut, whether or not
it¹s our work, or even if it is another¹s archive? These are some of the
dilemmas that we discussed earlier this summer at the Archiving the Arts
symposium‹when archiving one¹s own work there is drive to edit, as well,
thus creating a new work.

Renate asks ³how much do we preserve, how much space do we have, who will
record our history if we do not?²  A friend of mine who I was visiting
recently jumped on the computer to show me a commercial that featured her
grandfather¹s Tire shop in Phoenix. Curious who had posted the video, we
looked into ³DaddySinister ³ and discovered that he/she had uploaded a lot
of early episodes of Soul Train to Youtube, and in the process, had taken
the effort to post-- as separate files-- local commercials, station tags,
etc. DaddySinister reminded me how important the ³Palimpsest,² as Sherry
calls it, is to the archive. Do we stop the migration process at the end of
the work we¹re digitizing, or let the rest of the tape run? Of course
Renate¹s question of space is a serious one and not lost on me, as we
attempt to negotiate the long-term management of digital assets within a
University Library system. These newly migrated, massive files quickly eat
up space even though, in comparison to the storage needs of other Schools
within the University, it¹s quite small.

_______________________________________________ empyre forum
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