Archives at risk: protecting
the world's identities
Statement of DIVA Station on the World Day
for Audiovisual Heritage (27 October)
DIVA Station is a physical and web/on-line archive of video art which is being developed since 2005 at SCCA– Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts with the intent to research, document, present and archive video/media art in Slovenia. DIVA Station is a member of the GAMA portal which provides access to a wealth of information about the works of both well-known and emerging European and non-European media artists.
Creating physical and virtual, analogue and digital archives is a necessary tool to enable us a reflexion on contemporary art production. UNESCO has adopted 27 October as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage to better focus on the meaning of audio-visual materials and their carriers (film, video and sound footages, radio and television), and to provide an incentive to protect and maintain these documents which are an essential part of cultural heritage.
Archives at risk: protecting the world's identities is the slogan of this year's celebration of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. We are accepting a consensus that we are not able to comprehend the development of culture and society in the 20th and 21st Century without audiovisual archives and the material that they preserve. The slogan of this year’s celebration could not be more accurate – a vast majority of organisations dealing with AV archives of contemporary art (amongst them DIVA Station) face themselves with lack of support by the authorities which could assure a sustainable and professional work in this field. The archives are endangered not just because of the fragile and vulnerable archiving material which is subject to fast chemical decay and technological out-datedness but mostly due to a lack of recognition of their importance by the (national) authorities.
DIVA Station will honour the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage with the practice of an “open archive” to trigger a constructive exchange and emancipated work by the artists. We have invited Ana Čigon, video and performance artist, to browse across archived material and through a comparative research position her own artistic practice and create a site specific intervention in the physical venue of the DIVA Station archive. We believe that important parts of the archiving processes are also “creative re-use” and individual approaches by the users, which can lead to a better accessibility and higher visibility of archival material and help to raise awareness of the importance of our audiovisual heritage.
DIVA Station is a physical and web archive of video art which is being developed since 2005 at SCCA-Ljubljana with the intent to research, document, present and archive video/media art in Slovenia. By now, it contains more then 1.000 items of different materials. Apart from artistic works it also contains documentations, television shows about video and new media, documentation of events and individual artists. Various sources are of utter importance for research and understanding of video/media art. It contributes greatly to the possibility of interpretation of art works as well as the context in which they were produced. DIVA Station constantly adds newly acquired works to the archive and promotes an overall understanding of artistic oeuvre by organising discussions and presentations.
Materials from physical archive are available for public viewing at Project Room SCCA at Metelkova 6, Ljubljana, where we also organise discussions with artists and professionals that are directly involved with archiving contemporary video/media art.
DIVA on-line: www.e-arhiv.org/diva
The GAMA portal (Gateway to Archives of Media Art) provides access to a wealth of information about the works of both well-known and emerging European and non-European media artists. The material on media art initially came from eight European media art archives and could be searched and browsed on this common platform. The art projects presented include (previews of) experimental film and video art, performances, installations and net.art; they are documented and further contextualised with texts, lectures and events. The portal was launched at Ars Electronica in 2009 by a consortium of 19 partners ranging from IT experts, academic and cultural institutions to archives and distributors. Since then the GAMA foundation transformed from a portal into a knowledge and project sharing group with a biannual public roundtable on media art archiving.
GAMA on-line: www.gama-gateway.eu
[Published: October 22, 2015]