The International Association for Media and History
The Department of Film & Screen Media, University College Cork
Archival Appropriation: Reuse, Recycling and Remediation in the Digital Era
Thursday, 9 January 2020 (film handling workshop)
Friday, 10 January 2020 (symposium)
Location: Kane Auditorium, B10B (basement, Kane Building) University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Thursday 9th January
5pm- 6.30pm The RMC “Reel” Film Handling Workshop
Robert McCormick asks “What is film?”
A overview of how film works, the different types of film & how to identify them. A look at film handling equipment, cleaning, viewing and the film handler’s toolbox. How to handle storage and what to do if you find that “box in the attic”. A look at how to get your film digitised and how to decide which digitisation process to use.
Robert has been working as a broadcast engineer specialising in film and television for over 40 years and has for the last few years been working extensively with Screen NI on the UTV film digitisation programme.
A small wine reception will follow this event, hosted by University College Cork for the master class participants.
Archival Appropriation: Reuse, Recycling and Remediation in the Digital Era
Friday, 10 January 2020, Kane Auditorium, B10B (basement, Kane Building) University College Cork,
9.30am: Introduction, Ciara Chambers, Head of Department, Film & Screen Media
Cork: the Evolution of a City, Professor of Archaeology William O’Brien, Vice-Head, Teaching and Learning, UCC
10am From Steenbeck to Screen: Access at IFI Irish Film Archive, Kasandra O’Connell, Head of the IFI Irish Film Archive
Kasandra O’Connell has been Head of the IFI Irish Film Archive custodian of Ireland’s national moving image collection for two decades. Prior to this she worked in conservation at the National Museum of Ireland and has a postgraduate qualification in Archival Science, an M.A. in Museum Studies and is currently undertaking PhD research in moving image preservation and policy at DCU. She is on the editorial board of the Association of Moving Image Archivists journal and has written about digital preservation and moving image archiving for a number of publications including Film Ireland, History Ireland, Journal of the Society of Archivists and International Journal of Film Preservation; she has also contributed to a number of television and radio programmes on the subject. She devised and teaches an MA module in digital media preservation at Maynooth University and was one of a group of international experts selected as faculty for 2018 FIAF preservation and restoration workshop in India. Her focus in recent years has been devising and implementing the IFI Irish Film Archive’s Digital Preservation and Access Strategy, developing the award winning IFI Player and undertaking large scale preservation and access projects such as the Irish adverts project, Loopline and the Irish Independence film collection.
11.15am Keynote: Every Reuse is a Misuse: The Ethics of Archival Appropriation.
Jaimie Baron is an Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Her first book, The Archive Effect: Found Footage and the Audiovisual Experience of History, was published in 2014. She is currently working on a new book entitled Misuse: The Ethics of Audiovisual Appropriation in the Digital Era. She is the founder, director, and co-curator of the Festival of (In)appropriation, a yearly international festival of short experimental found footage films and videos. She is also a co-founder of Docalogue, an online space for scholars and filmmakers to engage in conversations about contemporary documentary, soon to also be a book series published by Routledge Press.
In the face of the frequency and rapidity of the circulation, appropriation, and recirculation of archival recordings through digital technologies, questions arise regarding the ethics of such appropriations, particularly when the recordings in question depict actuality, as opposed to fiction. Every reuse of a preexisting recording is, on some level, a “misuse,” in the sense that it is always used for previously unintended – or at least unanticipated – purposes. However, not all misuses are necessarily unethical. In fact, there are many instances of productive misuse that, although they generate an ethical disturbance, may nevertheless seem justified. At the same time, there are other instances in which the misuse made shade into abuse, generating a feeling that the appropriation violates ethical standards in some way. Documentary scholars have long engaged with the question of the ethical responsibilities of the documentary film or video maker in relation to his or her subject. However, this talk poses the question of what happens when this responsibility is set at a remove, when the actuality recording already exists for the taking and repurposing. What is the ethical responsibility of the maker who appropriates actuality footage vis-à-vis those represented in the image or sound recordings? What is the appropriationist’s responsibility vis-à-vis her audience? What kind of effects may audiovisual appropriation generate and how do we evaluate the ethics of these effects? I propose the concept of the “layered gaze” as a means of assessing the ethical ramifications of contemporary practices of archival appropriation.
12.30pm – Lunch
1.15pm Archive Production and Onions: The highs and lows of being an Archive Producer …
Fran Rowlatt-McCormick talks about a career in archive production spanning nearly 30 years and examines some of the key aspects of a career in the broadcast media and branded content industry.
RMC Media Partnership is an independent archive research and footage provider that specialises in research and clearing archive for the media industry. Based in Northern Ireland with a worldwide focus, the company provides film and photo archive research, third party clearances, copyright search, licensing and fee negotiation, project coordination and master delivery to clients all over the world from its base in County Down.
2.15pm The Use & Abuse of our Collective Past.
Alan Gilsenan, UCC/Arts Council Film Artist in Residence is an award-winning Irish film-maker, writer and theatre director. His many films include The Road To God Knows Where, All Souls’ Day, The Green Fields of France, Zulu 9, The Ghost of Roger Casement, Timbuktu, The Yellow Bittern, Eliza Lynch: Queen of Paraguay, A Vision: A Life of WB Yeats, Meetings with Ivor, The Meeting, Unless and ULYSSES | FILM.
His many documentaries have made extensive use of archive as well as making Home Movie Nights, a 26 part television series of Irish lives based entirely on home movies. He is a former Chairman of the Irish Film Institute and also served as a board member of both the Irish Film Board and RTÉ, Ireland’s public service broadcaster. He is currently on the board of Fighting Words, a creative writing centre for young people.
3.15pm The British Film Institute Film Audience Network (BFI FAN), Hugh Oddling Smee.
Currently Manager of Film Hub NI, part of the BFI Film Audience Network based at the Queen’s Film Theatre, Hugh Odling-Smee has over 20 years’ experience working in Belfast’s arts and heritage sectors for organisations as diverse as the Linen Hall Library, Kabosh Theatre Company, Belfast Book Festival and Belfast International Arts Festival.
3.45pm They Shall Not Be Colorized, Digitized, or Otherwise Unnaturally Resuscitated: Anger, Irony, and Humanity in Jean Aurel & Cécil Saint-Laurent’s Montage Documentary 14-18 (1963).
Brett Bowles is Associate Professor of French Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington (USA). He has published widely on French fiction film and newsreels / documentary, with a particular focus on the 1930s and the Second World War. He served as co-editor of book reviews for the Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television from 2005 to 2015 and is a longtime member of the IAMHIST Council. Ongoing projects include a book manuscript on the political-historical documentaries of Marcel Ophuls and poster art as a form of social and political discourse during the First World War.
Despite critical acclaim in France (where it made the cover of the March 1963 issue of Cahiers du cinéma) and a successful theatrical run in early 1963 (selling some 885,000 tickets nationally), Aurel and Saint-Laurent’s montage documentary 14-18 has been little seen and largely forgotten ever since. Remastered and released for the first time on DVD by Gaumont in 2017 with funding from the French national “Mission du Centenaire 14-18,” the film can now be appreciated as the first comprehensive, international, and sharply critical retrospective of the Great War on film. This montage documentary, composed entirely of period news footage from major and minor European belligerents, uses an incisive, angry and often darkly ironic voice-over commentary, as well as photographs and moving-picture footage banned by French military censors during the conflict, to denounce the absurdity of the massacre, the political clockwork that set the war in motion, and the industrial-military establishment that sustained it, while paying tribute to the resilience and suffering of the combatants themselves. Through a close reading of the film’s form and function, I will argue I will argue that Aurel and Saint-Laurent succeed historiographically where Peter Jackson fails miserably in They Shall Not Grow Old (2018): namely, by maintaining and using for critical purposes–rather than artificially attempting to reduce–various types of distance (temporal, subjective, intellectual) between the retrospective viewer and the historical actors present on screen.
4.30pm – plenary panel chaired by Llewella Chapman (IAMHIST Blog Editor) with speakers Alessandra Luciano (Centre National de l’Audiovisuel), Lawrence Napper (King’s College London), Kasandra O’Connell (IFI Irish Film Archive) and Fran Rowlett-McCormack (RMC Media Partnership) on the use and appropriation of archival footage in film and television, with a focus on They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson, 2018).
6pm Jerome ‘Jerry’ Kuehl Retrospective, followed by a wine reception in the Staff Common Room, Main Quad with Professor James Chapman, editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television and Sue Malden (former chair of FOCAL International).
Jerry was a unique figure who spanned the worlds of academia and television production where he worked on three landmark series The Great War (BBC, 1964), The World at War (Thames Television, 1973-74) and Cold War (Turner Productions, 1998).
We are delighted that Adele Kuehl will join us to celebrate Jerry’s enormous contribution to the fields of media history and broadcasting.