Day 3, Stream 3
Alexandra Gillespie: Australian National University, Australia
Jihoon Kim: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Peter Ride: University of Westminster, UK
Somaya Langley, Trevor Carter & Matthew Davies: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
Meg Travers: Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Australia
Alexandra Gillespie Humpy: an early Australian architectural projection by artists Ian de Gruchy and Krzysztof Wodiczko
Humpy is an early Australian architectural projection that continues to hold resonance 24 years on from its temporary presence at the Adelaide Festival in Australia’s bicentennial year 1988 marking 200 years of European colonisation. While large scale outdoor projections are now a common form, in the 1980s this new medium was being developed by pioneering artists such as Polish American Krzysztof Wodiczko and Australian Ian de Gruchy, who collaborated for a period of seven years. In this particular work a temporary site-specific projection of an ‘ethno-architectural’ humpy structure is mapped to the modernist architecture of the Adelaide Festival Centre. In negotiating the archival record of this projection installation we experience a mediated experience of a particular place, and from speaking about the particularities of place, a wider narrative of Indigenous loss of place and the ongoing politics of this loss of place are uncovered.
In this paper Humpy is discussed in terms of its location/ site, the historical moment in which it emerged (Australia’s Bicentennial), the collaborative and solo practices of Wodiczko and de Gruchy, and the way the work both draws from traditional Australian Indigenous architecture and foregrounds contemporary architectural works, where media is embedded in the architectural form of a building or becomes an embedded electronic skin. In discussing traditional Australian Indigenous architecture Paul Memmot’s study of the Aboriginal architecture of Australia is referenced, describing the transformation of traditional ‘ethno-architectural’ structures into the shacks and humpies of the town camp.
In subject matter Humpy explores Australian history and the ongoing uncanny moments of post-colonial identity. The humpy as a form embodies the notion of dispossession, as eyes unaccustomed to makeshift dwellings or the experience of living in them see at once a home and an ‘unhomely’ home.
Jihoon Kim The Performative Archive: Formations of Social Memory in Interactive and Collaborative Documentary
This paper examines the ways in which network and mobile technologies remediate documentary as a mode of practice for bearing witness to and shaping collective memory. Since the 2000s, a number of practitioners have experimented with the interactive and networking capacities of digital technologies to transform documentary’s modes of representation and the viewer’s engagement. These experiments have fallen within the categories of ‘interactive’ and ‘collaborative’ documentary. In this paper, I argue that the collaborative poetics of web documentary and locative documentary project reconfigures documentary memory as performative, participatory, social and connective, rendering it an ongoing interplay between the private and the public, and between the spatial (memory as navigating, locating, and mapping) and the temporal (memory as the confluence of the present and the past).
To this aim, I examine several works in relation to the three modes of collaborative documentary projects based on the premises of the network and mobile technologies. First, non-interactive collaborative documentary projects based on the users’ participatory production or remaking of their memory about everyday life or cinematic fragments, which can be seen as the global archive based on the intersection of the individual and collective memories (Life in A Day, Kevin Macdonald, 2011 and Man with a Movie Camera: The Global Remake, Perry Bard, 2007-Present); second, a couple of web documentaries, whose hyperlinking structure corresponds to the patterns of the user’s affective and epistemological engagement with the multimedia forms of the archive, such as making connections, discovering similarities, differences or ambiguity (Highrise: Out My Window, 2010 and Welcome to Pine Point, 2011); finally, a couple of ‘locative’ documentary projects that use the mobile phone to encourage the user to document her own city in lived, embodied manner (Blast Theory’s Rider Spoke, 2007-9, Ulrich Fischer’s Walking the Edit, 2011).
Peter Ride #citizencurators – getting Twitter into museum showcases
#Citizencurators is a twitter initiative that was established by University of Westminster and University of London to collect the response to the 2012 London Olympic Games. There have been many social media projects, including twitter projects, run by arts organisations and museums, but none that we had come across that aimed to collect the tweets as a museum item – kept in perpetuity for the nation as an important part of social history. The premise was, not surprisingly, that contemporary collecting can be devolved from the authority of the museum and that by enabling this the museum shifted the concept of curatorial selection from the professional and transferred it to the public.
Over 7,000 tweets were gathered that used the unique hashtag #citizencurators; however this raised several issues for the museum, these being:
(i) to do with museum ethics and related to the nature of social collecting with or without the assent of participants; (ii) to deal with the practicality of managing a project that was potentially boundless and necessitated adapting models of other social media projects (artist projects, marketing promotions, social activism); (iii) what the final nature of the collected and accessioned ‘item’ would be (e.g. 7000 disparate tweets, a spreadsheet, a database, a rendition of the material); and (iv) how the project could be mapped and its processes made transparent.
The issues led to unexpected outcomes, and as a result the twitter ‘item’ is now two separate entities: there is an archive database, but a data-visualisation is also being commissioned. This dual form enables both future historians to access the full content and gallery and (online) audiences to engage with the material.
#Citizencurators is now being developed for a twitter project leading up to the 2014 anniversary of WW1.
Somaya Langley, Trevor Carter & Matthew Davies Managing Multiplatform Materials: Selected Case Studies
In contemporary first-world society, mobile devices are ubiquitous; data is commonly spoken about in petabytes; 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute; and if you’re lucky, your digital content just might go viral in virtually the same amount of time that it took to upload. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the challenges that long-term preservation of this vast array of digital content presents.
Since its inception in 1935 (as the National Historical Film and Speaking Record Library within the Commonwealth National Library), the primary focus of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has been to build a collection of Australia’s audiovisual heritage, now comprising over 1.9 million works; its mission: to “… excite people’s curiosity and inspire their creativity through development, preservation and an informed understanding of Australian film, sound and emerging new media heritage, its cultural diversity and significance.”
The international digital preservation community is well versed in the challenges that our digital world presents: technological hurdles, barriers presented by rights issues and the ever increasing complexity of both professionally produced and user-generated content. Various strategies have been touted as potential approaches for achieving desired results, yet are not necessarily widespread practice. For complex digital content, it is pertinent to consider which of these are feasible given available resources.
Taking a pragmatic approach, the NFSA has opted to address our preservation challenges for a range of complex born-digital content, covering interactive multiplatform content produced for mobile devices, works in Second Life and 3D films. Case studies include The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch, Storm Surfers 3D and The Sapphires Soul Sync app. Through these studies, the NFSA will develop robust, effective and efficient collection development strategies and workflow processes that ensure economic viability and fit within current infrastructure and staffing capabilities.
Meg Travers & Cat Hope Electronic music is here to stay. Or is it?
The issue of archiving digital information has been an area of worldwide research for the last 20 years, however the problems of preservation of electronic and digital artworks have only fairly recently been identified. Beyond the traditional collections of manuscripts and recordings, the practicalities of re-performance of 20th century musical compositions have not been widely discussed, and many of the electronic instruments and sound sources used by composers of this era have fallen into disrepair or obsolescence, or vanished, or modern technology has changed the sound so much as to make it unrecognisable from the original intended instrumentation.
Currently there exists no unified methodology for assessing and archiving 20th and 21st century electronic music for re-performability, though as greater importance is placed on these works with the passage of time, the issue will become more apparent, and also more difficult to retrospectively resolve.
Growing out of the post-punk musical era, SPK were an Australian electronic/industrial band formed in the late 1970s. Discussion of the significance of this era has been described as ‘glaringly absent,’ though this is changing as ongoing music and technology developments demonstrate the artistic significance of this time in music history.
This paper will present how re-performance of a selection of SPK’s works was undertaken, informed by both artistic and archival knowledge to achieve an authentic recreation.