About the Noise in the Archives
A Diversity-Oriented Processing of the Audiovisual Collection of the IMAI Archives
Date01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024
The IMAI Foundation archives comprise about 3,500 international video art works and audiovisual documents dedicated to music subcultures and countercultures from the 1970s to the 1990s. Following different research and digitization projects, 1,500 videotapes have been catalogued and digitized since the establishment of the foundation in 2006.
About the Noise in the Archives is dedicated to processing videotapes, predominantly in VHS and U-matic formats, that have been under-documented thus far. With an emphasis on diversity, we will screen, catalogue, and digitize this audiovisual material over the next two years. In this process, we will pay special attention to marginalized social groups and content related to their experiences.
A methodological-reflexive ambition is inherent to this project. As part of the indexing process, we will look at critical archival theory in an attempt to find ways to translate it into archival practice. By critically reflecting our own activities, we want to prepare diversity-oriented methods that will have a lasting impact on the structure of IMAI’s archives, the way they are made available, as well as their cataloguing guidelines and database.
Archiving is a powerful practice. Archival processing, i.e., naming, describing, indexing, and cataloguing, has a significant impact on the future accessibility of the documents and objects in question. Archives are the basis of historiography. They can reproduce hegemonic narratives and collective memory structures but also counteract them if a diversity-oriented perspective is taken.
In the case of the IMAI archives, considering that the foundation makes large parts of its digitized collection freely accessible online, the way the videotapes are indexed has a decisive influence on how the history of video art and also the history of music subcultures and countercultures is remembered. Therefore, it is essential that About the Noise in the Archives considers contemporary queer, feminist, postcolonial, and archive-theoretical discussions, while also rethinking the position of the archivist.
The research project is funded by the State Capital Düsseldorf and the Ministry of Culture and Science of NRW. The work of the research trainee is supported by Dr. Linnea Semmerling and Nele Kaczmarek (IMAI Foundation) in cooperation with Dr. Kathrin Dreckmann (Institute for Media and Cultural Studies at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf) and Dr. Dagmar Brunow (Linné University, Kalmar/Växjö, Sweden).
The Cassette Underground
A research project about archiving the alternative distribution channels of the cassette underground in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Fringe of the Fringe
A conference that seeks to bring together queer-feminist and antiracist strategies for archiving and cataloging the audiovisual documents of punk, postpunk, new wave, and industrial.
The video art channel IMAI-Play relies on a participatory presentation of the videos from the IMAI archive and invites users to curate, comment and discuss their own video programs.
Video Online Archive
cataloging/ presenting/ communicating
A project as part of the eHeritage funding program of the BMBF
Video Art Distribution
This international conference addressed the interactions between art production, art market, and exhibition activity for media art.
The Media Art Agency 235 MEDIA
Its significance in terms of the conditions for producing, establishing an economic basis for, and internationalizing media art.
Two-year long-term archiving project at the imai foundation.
Case Studies on Restoration
Methods for the long-term preservation of media art installations.