This is not a Clampdown: Archiving Bologna’s Countercultural Films and Analog Videos of the late Eighties and early Nineties

by Diego Cavallotti (University of Udine)

Abstract: Throughout this paper, I will try to deal with the most intriguing issues regarding countercultural materials and informal repositories: how can we outline a specific archival framework for them? Should we refer to standard preservation and access procedures, or should we theorize a different paradigm in which the complexity of their original production/fruition contexts is mirrored?

In order to answer these questions, I will focus on a specific case study: the PVEH Collection preserved at Home Movies – The Italian National Amateur Film Archive in Bologna (Italy). The PVEH Collection includes 16mm film, VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, S-VHS-C, Video8 and Hi8 video, which were used synchronically by young film- and video-makers (most of them students) within Bologna’s countercultural environment between the end of the 1980s and the beginnings of the 1990s.

Diego Cavallotti is a Post-Doc Researcher at the University of Udine (Italy), where he teaches Audio-Visual Media Semiotics. He is one of the Scientific Coordinators of Udine’s FilmForum – International Film Studies Conference and MAGIS Spring School. He also runs the Film Section at La Camera Ottica – Film and Video Restoration laboratory (University of Udine). He is currently publishing his first book, Cultura video. Le riviste specializzate in Italia (1970-1995).