Artists' Film and Video Database/Digitised Collection Projects: Addressing sustainability and historiography

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sunderland
Department Name: Arts and Design


There are now a significant number of projects in the UK which are creating digitised collections, digital archives and online databases dealing with various aspects of artists' film and video, and together they span the disciplines of film studies, visual arts and performance. Key among these are:

1. The British Artists' Film & Video Study Collection (based at Central St Martins College of Art & Design)

2. REWIND: Artists' Video in the 70s & 80s (based at University of Dundee)

3. Data basing key documents and narrative chronologies of artists' film and video distributors in the UK (based at University of Sunderland)

4. Capturing the past, preserving the future: digitisation of the National Review of Live Art video collection (based at University of Bristol)

5. Computer Art Context History Etc. (CACHe) (based at Birkbeck University of London)

6. Luxonline (based at the Lux, London)

7. Screenonline (based at the British Film Institute, London)

8. lniVA -Institute of International Visual Arts (London)

These resources are invaluable since they make available material that has been previously difficult to access. However, although these projects share important points of connection, there is as yet no infrastructure which links them and their online resources together in order to develop their potential synergies and uses.

The research network will bring together representatives from these projects and initiatives, together with representatives from the Arts Council England, the British Film Institute and the Tate, and advisers from the AHDS and the AHRC ICT Methods Network, in order to address two key issues: (a) ;curing the future of these resources- as a network of sustainable resources- beyond any project specific funding, and (b) maximising both their; ability to and use by researchers both inside and outside the academy. It will do this by holding 4 workshops for the core members of the network where ideas and strategies can be brainstormed /discussed to address these two key issues, and their implementation planned. In addition, the network will host two 'open' workshops to disseminate these findings to/solicit feedback from a wider audience and to open discussions with other related UK based projects and similar database/digital archiving initiatives in mainland Europe with which it would be beneficial to make links.


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