The Ethics of a Meandering Cache: Appraising Documentary Out-Takes for Collective and Autonomous Archiving

by Tina Bastajian (Amsterdam University College)

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the aspect of ethics for a potential collaboration with bak.ma, an autonomous archive initiative which grew out of Istanbul’s Gezi Park protest/resistance and the efforts of the activist collective Videoccupy. The essence of bak.ma’s autonomous archive inspired me to appraise and re-activate my own footage and out-takes from a prior interactive documentary project – Coffee Deposits:::Topologies of Chance – a slow mapping of unpredictable and rapidly shifting urban patterns and diverse stories and accounts by those who inhabit, walk, dwell, witness, work and protest in the city. To appraise data in a collective/autonomous archival space, a careful revisiting of past footage gestures to a ‘post-documentary sensibility’ (Frisch) informed by a logic that includes the ‘conditions of capture’ (e.g. in-situ, demonstrations, etc.). I propose that these conditions, which often necessitate long camera takes, intrinsically counter traditional approaches to appraisal, which can embrace and nuance the ethical issues of a meandering cache.

Tina Bastajian is a P&P graduate. She is an Amsterdam-based Media Artist, Researcher, Essayist, and Educator. Her work uses experimental approaches to documentary forms, which extend to her artistic research into moving image heritage and (counter) archival constellations. She teaches at Amsterdam University College, and is a visiting docent at The Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.