Panel Activating the Film Apparatus

Activating the Archive: The Film Archive as a Research Lab
by Annie van den Oever (University of Groningen) & Benoît Turquety (University of Lausanne)

Abstract: In addition to traditional media archaeology, whose main methodological repertoire for long was oriented on discourse analysis, experimental media archaeology aims at a playful, hands-on heuristic in which re-enactment as a method takes centre stage. This intervention revolves around the question of how this method can help us to activate the archive and make it relevant by using it as a research lab. In line with the 2016 plea in Exposing the Film Apparatus (eds. Giovanna Fossati and Annie van den Oever), a demonstration of an apparatus from the EYE collection – with the help of technical expert Hans van der Kraan – will be part of this panel. Hans van der Kraan will demonstrate a magic lantern from the apparatus collection, used as an educational tool at schools in Russia. The papers and discussion will focus on the following questions: What is the epistemological potential of an experimental, apparatus/object/sense-oriented approach to film/media technologies? Do such alternative approaches provide new material for a history of film and media that takes the material and sensorial dimensions into account? What can we learn from the experiences in the field of the history of technology and historically informed performances in music?

Annie van den Oever is Head of the Film Archive & Media Archaeology Lab and Associate Professor of Film at the University of Groningen; Extraordinary Professor for Film and Visual Media at UFS, South Africa; and Research Associate for Audio-Visual Studies at Institute ACTE, Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne University.

Benoît Turquety is Assistant Professor at the University of Lausanne. Educated as a Film Technician, his recent work focuses on the history and epistemology of film technology, notably for the EPIMETE project. His book Inventer le cinéma has received the 2015 International Maurizio Grande Prize. He leads a research project on Bolex and amateur cinema, and is a founding member of the Material Archival Studies Network.


A Magic Lantern in a Post-war Country
by Hans van der Kraan (EYE)

Abstract: A performance. Not your friendly well behaved lecture + images. You're going to be quizzed, have some fun. Music, maestri, please. Some serious questions and an effort to sketch an aftermath. Research crossroads with personal history. A dissident opinion that may hurt. How politics possibly can influence the choices about use of technology, the necessity to do it quickly. How he got it and how we got it. Getting to know the machine and how to do that. A chance to quench the thirst and quest for more knowledge, hopefully succeeding. All we want is continuous bright daylights and no mega flash too bright for our eyes, surely? Maybe therefore a warning about the present times. Everything ‘under construction’.

Hans van der Kraan. May 1945. My Daylight. Peace finally. For many but not all. Teacher training college + Study East & South-East Asian Archaeology & History. School for Physically Disabled children. Travels/Living in Asia. Bhutan before it became fashionable. Back in NL. School for Integrated Special Education. Evenings: Usher at Filmmuseum. Switch to museum! Photo selector. Specialist Film Apparatus Collection. 65 YOA. Hate retirement. Volunteering in my old job.