The University of Dundee has been awarded nearly £1/2m by the AHRB - one of the biggest research grants awarded by the funding body this year - to create a unique cultural resource dedicated to the preservation of work from the first two decades of video.
REWIND, funded by the AHRB (Art and Humanities Research Board)and led by Professor Stephen Partridge at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD), will establish an archive, major exhibition and publication to enable the public and academics to access archives of 1970s and 1980s film.
Professor Partridge said, "This ground-breaking project aims to protect the best examples of work from the two decades, some of which may disappear because of their ephemeral nature and poor technical condition.
The investigation - starting early 2004 - will trace the evolution of electronic media art in the UK and preserve some of the country’s most significant pieces of work. The AHRB has awarded the considerable sum of£433,500 over four years in recognition of the value this project has for academics and the public."
Professor Partridge will work with Professor Jane Prophet (Centre for Arts Research Technology and Education (CARTE), University of Westminster) and Professor Sean Cubitt (University of Waikato, New Zealand).
Much early video work is in poor technical condition, many works (particularly multi-screen and installation work) are "lost". Very few installation works have survived intact. Some technologies intrinsic to the nature of the works are now obsolete, for example, reel-to-reel videotape decks used in tape-delay installations.
While collections (such as the LUX in London) do exist, they are neither comprehensive nor do they consist of master tapes of the original works. Detailed associated information and critical texts on this output is scattered and patchy, and no initiatives have a remit to provide archival quality versions of early work. REWIND will address this gap in the available research and body of knowledge, and preserve and make available the artefacts for present and future study.
AHRB is the Art and Humanities Research Board.
Stephen Partridge is Professor of Media Art and Dean of Research at DJCAD, University of Dundee, and a media artist and producer. He was in the "landmark" shows of the 1970s including the Video Show at the Serpentine in 1975, the Installation Show at the Tate gallery in 1976, The Paris Biennalle in 1977 and the The Kitchen in New York in 1979.
During the 1980s he exhibited widely and was commissioned by Channel 4 to produce Dialogue for Two Players in 1984 and co-produce the innovative Television Interventions project in 1990. He also co-produced the series Not Necessarily with BBC Scotland for BBC2 television in 1991. He has continued to produce artworks including CD ROMs and DVD works. Previously the Head of School of Television & Imaging at DJCAD, a post he was appointed to in 1993, Professor Partridge became Associate Dean of Research & Enterprise in 2001.
Technical partners supporting the project include the LUX (video archive in London), the FACT Centre in Liverpool and the School of Television & Imaging at DJCAD.
A Research Fellow and Technical Archivist will be appointed in 2004, and there will also be an opportunity for a PhD student to be involved.
The research will produce:
Archived masters on digital tape of single screen and installation works. Deposited at University of Dundee and the National Film & Television Archives or the Scottish Film Archive.
A database of detailed information, technical information, ephemera, reviews and critical texts on the artists & works. Managed by University of Dundee.
REWIND | Artists' Video Collection of DVDs of single channel work for scholarly and public access at the University of Dundee’s Visual Research Centre (VRC) located in Dundee Contemporary Arts, and CARTE in London, and for possible re-exhibition by third parties.
REWIND | Artists' Video Collection of DVDs of installation work for scholarly and public access at the VRC and CARTE and for possible re-exhibition by third parties.
REWIND website domain at dundee.ac.uk and through VADS to include the database of detailed information, technical information, ephemera, reviews and critical texts on the artists & works, paper archive, oral testimony, clips and still images from all the works with searchable index.
Major publication edited by Professor Sean Cubitt which reproduces the research source material, paper archive of the works and artists, the research methodology and research "journey" of the whole project, plus critical monographs.- Extensive exhibition at a major UK venue of the collections, including re-staged installation works.
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