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This Is Film 2021 5 Bits and Pieces and the VJ

#5: Bits and Pieces and the VJ

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This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice

In the fifth session of This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice, Italian VJ and Film Scholar Rossella Catanese performs an audiovisual immersive VJ set, by mixing and manipulating Eye’s unique Bits & Pieces collection. She is accompanied by electronic musician Jan Willem Hagenbeek.

poster This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice 2021

This session of This is Film! zooms in on the art of VJing and the reuse of Eye's Bits & Pieces collection, with Italian VJ and Film Scholar Rossella Catanese.


In this lecture, Rossella Catanese makes the audience part of her experiences as a VJ working with found footage material, discussing topics such as access to archival collections, and the unique character of a collection like Bits & Pieces. Together with electronic musician Jan Willem Hagenbeek, she also performs an audiovisual immersive VJ set, by mixing and manipulating Eye's Bits & Pieces collection.

Introduction by Giovanna Fossati (Chief Curator at Eye and Professor of Film Heritage at the University of Amsterdam). Q&A in collaboration with the Master students of the This is Film! class at the University of Amsterdam.

Bits & Pieces Collection

At the end of the ’80s, the Filmmuseum initiated a practice of archival film re-use by creating compilation reels of film fragments that could not be identified. This practice is still carried out today by the Filmmuseum’s curators and the collected film fragments, that otherwise might have been disregarded, form the Bits & Pieces collection: today containing 58 reels and 647 fragments.

Over the years, the Bits & Pieces collection came to be the source of many new compilations. Artists such as Fiona Tan, Peter Delpeut and Gustav Deutsch drew amply on this collection for their work.

Nowadays, digitization facilitates the use of single B&P fragments, and makes it easier to open the collection up to bigger audiences through several projects. An example of a recent initiative is Jan Bot, a computer programme that creates experimental films by using exclusively fragments from the B&P collection that match current trending topics. The films made by Jan Bot are daily published on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In the past, the B&P collection has been used for projections within museum exhibitions or dance events.


Rossella Catanese is the author of the book Futurist Cinema. Studies on Italian Avant-garde Film (2017). She is a postdoc researcher in Film Studies at the University of Udine and adjunct professor at NYU Florence. She also regularly gives live performances as a VJ.

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Persons under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult


145 min.

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#5: Bits and Pieces and the VJ

Part of

This is Film! 2021

This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice is a public lecture series devoted to notable projects in the fields of film restoration and film heritage. Under the overarching theme of recycling, re-using and remixing archival film(fragments), the series will showcase a broad range of creatively reused archival footage in different settings, addressing its relevance for audiences today.

The video recordings of the lectures can be found at the bottom of this page.

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portrait Rossella Catanese

Some insights about the practice of VJing

Read an interview with scholar and VJ Rossella Catanese over in our online magazine.

Read more

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