Film forum/Spring school, Udine/Gorizia, 5-14 avril 2011

9 avril 2011

L’édition 2011 du Colloque international de cinéma et de l’Ecole de printemps organisés conjointement par l’Université de Udine et de Paris III (départements cinéma) avait pour thème : L’ARCHIVE.

La conservation, la restauration et la numérisation des fonds confrontés à l’obsolescence se sont ainsi trouvé au premier plan des sujets abordés. 

La nécessité d’élaborer un paradigme de conservation-restauration adapté au film est apparue très nettement – le paradigme issu des beaux arts s’avérant inapproprié et inopérant. L’importance de développer une réflexion concertée et une expertise sur les numérisations opérées dans les collections patrimoniales constitue également une priorité.

Une intervention a été présentée le 8 avril à l’Ecole de Printemps par Cécile Dazord :

Film digitization : The problematics of conserving visual effetcs

 Cecile Dazord, Clotilde Boust – Centre de recherche et de restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF)

Since 2006, the French Museum Conservation and Research Center (Ministry of Culture) is working on the phenomena of technological obsolescence. The purpose of this program is to study the impacts of technological evolutions on contemporary art and its preservation. Since the late 1960s, an increasing number of art works consist of still or moving images, many of which are now conserved on obsolete devices and formats. Consequently, it is always more difficult to present them: their accessibility is threatened, as is their preservation. Faced with this combined obsolescence of media, devices and formats, heads of collections frequently carry out the digitization of repositories for purposes of distribution or preservation. However, a digitization campaign requires specialized skills and, above all, a specific code of practice that is currently unavailable in museum contexts. Art works are unique and non-standard objects. Therefore, methods of mass digitization used in other domains such as television or library archives cannot be directly imported into the field of art. We focused on the digitization of avant-garde and experimental cinema because 16 or 35 mm film is becoming obsolete and because the aesthetics of the images is essential in such films.

Cécile Dazord holds degree in art history and classical studies and is accredited by the Institut national du patrimoine (National institute of curatorial studies). From 2001 to 2005, she was chief curator of the contemporary art collection at the Strasbourg museum of modern and contemporary art. Since 2006, she has been head of the Department of contemporary art at the Research institute of the national museums of France

Clotilde Boust received her engineering degree in photography from the Ecole nationale Louis Lumière, France, in 1998 and a Ph. D. in image quality from Paris IV University in 2004. She is now assistant professor, doing research about color imaging at the Research institute of the national museums of France.


XVIII International Film Studies Conference / Convegno Internazionale di Studi sul Cinema
Udine, April 5 – 7, 2011
T H E  A R C H I V E
Memory, cinema, video and the image of the present


« It was Jacques Derrida who reminded us that the word archive (Archè) combines the idea of beginning and that of command: the place
where things get started, and where the sources reside, but at the same time the place where the Law arises and where it finds its
In the regime of the image the archive is – in a single concept – the storage of recorded and transmitted images, but also what Jacques
Rancière defines as «the organization of the sensible» (le partage du sensible); that instance which regulates, institutes and organizes
the places and positions of access to the experience of the visual. Nevertheless the archive is not a one-dimensional concept: it is not
only made by objects and concreteness, but also by void spaces, missing elements, silences, which preserve not only the transmittable
history but also the trace of what could have been but was not and nevertheless continues to persist in the present times.
While a widespread tradition always understood history as a vertical narrative that emerges from an origin and is written like a book by
a constituent subject; the archive appears as a radical dishomogeneity, irreducibly paratactic and organized through a vast multiplicity
of elements. It was Michel Foucault who underlined the way in which history is inevitably linked to the question of the constituent
subject, and how archaeology (or genealogical practices) reverse the question and claim that it is the subject itself which is constituted
by a thick network of practices of knowledge and technologies of power that define its conditions of possibility. The archive is not
defined by the staticity of its object, but rather by the lack of its subject.
Addressing the question of the archive does not mean turning our back to the present according to a teleological diachronical
perspective, but on the contrary it would mean to analyze how knowledge and technology that define the range of the contemporary
visuality are in turn defined by a “historical a-priori” (Foucault) in which they find their own conditions of possibility. An “a-priori” is
co-extensive with the present: it is not meant to be searched as an already-given object somewhere in the past, but it is rather something
that needs to be synchronically constructed, connected and organized through a genealogical practice toward the future.
In the past few years many experiences in fine arts, cinema, philosophy etc. have turned their attention towards the concept of the
archive and in general towards practices of the paratactic juxtaposition of elements: as if a new experience of the historical time was
emerging. The digital culture, for instance, along with the new possibilities of organization and recording of knowledge connected to it,
open up new perspectives of construction and access of knowledge based on modularity and a-hierarchical horizontality more than on a
vertical discipline. Or in the field of the visual studies, a renewed attention toward figures like Aby Warburg and Walter Benjamin
testimony an intellectual sensibility focused on the relationship between image, memory and historical time.
We would therefore like to refer to the associations opened up by the concept of the archive in its expanded declination. Archive is the
discursive and yet physical place where dialectical and conflictual negotiations between genealogical practices and dispositifs of power
find their place to be. And where what’s at stake is nothing less than the form and modalities to access the present regime of the visual.
Institutions, knowledge, dispositifs. Which institutions, knowledge, dispositifs of power define and organize the condition of
possibility of the contemporary visual? Which agents, subjects, norms and conditions of access are legitimized or made illegitimate?
The Digital Archive. How do the modalities of registration and preservation made possible by the digital turn redefine archival
practices and the organization of knowledge? The pervasive possibility of filming, recording, decoding, archiving – with very low costs
and easily accessible technologies – which kind of relation does it establish with temporality, history and memory?
Memory, image, historical time. Are images examples of a recorded and archived past? Are the enormous archives of images an
example of a technological preservation of memory? Or rather does their supposed accuracy and adherence hide blanks spots, silences,
missing elements? What does an image say or does not say? Would it be possible to imagine a politics of images which does not
delegate a testimony but rather takes on the responsibility of doing so to its most extreme consequences?
Archive and its subject. How is it possible to make an archive speak? Which is the subject (institution or ideology) that is entitled to
make it speak? Are we a constituent subject (active) of an archive or are we subjected (passive) to it and to the way through which an
archive is shaping the conditions of the possibility of the visual?
Archive and its traces. What are the material traces preserved in and by the archive connected to? What is their status? In which way
do cultural artefacts hide and reveal at the same time a complex set of cultures, agents and audiovisual memory? »


IX MAGIS – Gorizia International Film Studies Spring School
Gorizia, April 8 – 13, 2011
Memory, cinema, video and the image of the present

« The IX MAGIS Spring School, organized by the University of Udine and the University of Paris III in collaboration with their network
of partners – the Universities of Amsterdam, Bochum, Prague, Valencia, Milano-Cattolica, Pisa and CineGraph/Hamburg – as part of
the activities of the International PhD in Audiovisual Studies, will be held this year in Gorizia, from April 8th to April 11th.
This IX edition of the MAGIS Spring School will focused on the relationship between audiovisual forms and the notion of the
Archive. With the help of scholars, graduate students, artists, curators and representatives of art institutions, the IX Spring School will
try to address in plenary sessions and workshops the main topic of “the Archive” in relation to specific disciplinary fields, objects and
perspectives of research with an emphasis on:
Cinema & Contemporary Visual Art. The archive form undoubtedly dominated curatorial and artistic practices of the last decade. On
the one hand it allowed for the adoption of a retrospective point of view toward modernist great points of reference, thereby
reappraising not only their historical importance, but also their utopian aspect and experimental gesture. On the other hand, it freed up
the possibility of assemblage and manipulation of sources (with the digital turn becoming increasingly more accessible) and gave rise
to a different phenomenological experience of reality which modifies the interpretation, recording and organization of data. Sharing the
theoretical framework and perspective suggested by the FilmForum 2011’s call for papers, the Cinema & Contemporary Visual Arts
section aims to investigate the archive form with an analysis of its significance along these two aspects. We will place an emphasis, in
particular, on the relevance of researches and authorial practices of the net, of sound and moving images.
Archive & Post-Cinema: videogame/animation/comics. The “archive”, if we understand it as a “database”, could define the new
media landscape. This structure in fact interconnects every single medial experience: videogames; web comics; the “multiverse” of
comics; cell phone applications; contaminations of art, cinema, animation, videogame. We would like to map the presence and
interpretation of the archive in this landscape and open it up specific issues: in which ways do the different medial experiences
organize traces of memory? Which are the bodily and intellectual experiences that include application users, videogamers, web-goers?
What is the role of emulation, retro-technology and preservation? Which are the problems opened up by archiving and preserving
objects that are so strongly connected to contemporary times and to the quick deterioration of supports? Which videogames or medial
objects produce spatial structures which work as a collection of information and knowledge? In which ways does the spatial and
narrative dynamics of game constitute in and of itself a cultural database?
Cartography of Pornographic Audiovisual. The Porn Studies Section intends to explore the geographies of audiovisual pornography,
employing a cartographic perspective (cfr. Barker 1996). This perspective accounts for at least two levels of theoretical formalization,
which involve both the diachronic dimension and the synchronic one (cfr. Cregan 2007). The first level deals with the construction of
chronological systems that subtend the “historical space” in which a particular cultural phenomenon develops. The second level deals
with the elaboration of topological systems that subtend the “geographical dynamic” through which that particular cultural
phenomenon appears. By joining the temporal dimension and the spatial one (and vice versa), the cartographic dispositive acquires a
double nature, overlapping the “plain” geographic atlas to the “deep” historic archive (cfr. Buchloh 1999).
The Film Heritage. Film Archives emerges as a response to an absence. Film Heritage is primarily about a loss and a trauma, even
before the very act of preserving and taking care of. In the times of contemporary remediation archives are facing a transition
characterized by a new “absence” and by a new opening up of practices, bodies, knowledge and dispositifs. Can the study of film
tradition, transmission and preservation reveal models of archival transition and contemporary re-enactment of archives? Which
identities and visual/cultural forms do the laboratorial practices and technologies leave on the bodies of the archives? How do
cosmesis, therapies and obsolescence produced by the digital domain and the digital market generate symptomatical and pathological
archives? What are the paradoxes of an archive that plans itself and that enunciates its own self-sufficiency? In what ways does the
present transition and the dialectic between preservation and access dissimulate and hide the complexity of the notion of the archive? »


For more information, please contact:
Dipartimento di Storia e Tutela dei Beni Culturali – Università degli Studi di Udine, Palazzo Caiselli, Vicolo Florio 2 – 33100 Udine,
Italy fax: +39/0432/556644 – e-mail: –


Consulter le programme : ProgramFilmforum2011


Cécile Dazord

Conservatrice au C2RMF, Département recherche ; Chargée de l'art contemporain et notamment de l'étude des phénomènes d'obsolescence technologique

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