Notions of a Radical Moving Image Archive as a Problematic
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The concerns of this thesis stem from the reflections of a filmmaker and the recognition of artists’ use of archival materials in moving image practice as an intervention in making visible aspects of experience that are implicit and often left out of linear accounts of a history of technologies. The implications of the thesis are that in the strategic mobilisation of moving image artefacts in the archive in their inter-relationship of making and viewing, concerns over what is not present, what is missing, what is unarchivable, what is fragmentary, and the copy are alleviated. The thesis conceives of the Mnemosyne Radical Moving Image Archive as an artistic archival practice to challenge traditional approaches to archiving moving images. The project is proposed in order to overcome dualistic conceptions of moving image archives as either technological or cultural, which are highlighted through concerns such as digitisation and accessibility. Notions of a Radical Moving Image Archive as a Problematic presents archival knowledge as a co-construction of image, apparatus, maker, and viewer. The thesis proceeds from a media archaeological approach to the study of media technologies in order to elaborate an understanding of moving images as a network of technological apparatus that are historically, culturally, politically, and aesthetically contingent. As a speculative archival practice, the Mnemosyne Radical Moving Image Archive builds upon the work of art historian Aby Warburg’s approach to the Mnemosyne Atlas project, particularly through the concept of assemblage, utilising comparison and disjuncture to read the image contextually in multiple aspects. This practice is also considered in light of Jakob von Ueküll’s notion of umwelt. The Mnemosyne Radical Moving Image Archive takes images and sequences from moving image works to problematise traditional film studies categories of the moving image, as form, auteur, spectator, nation, etc., to assert other potential relations amongst the works.