Saturday, November 13, 2004

Reportage from the 2004 AMIA Conference - Part 2

Hi all:

Just some more comments and observations from the conference here in the Twin Cities! Today, I started the day off by going to "A Document is a Document is a Document: Digital Documentation of the Moving Image" where there were certainly a spectrum of perspectives and mechanisms on best practices for digital assets managment systems and workflow. While I personally might have gotten more out of the other panel, " Moving Image Archives in the Age of Human Rights," I deliberately went to this one to gain some variety and for the most part, I wasn't disappointed. Good to know the current work being done on InterPares 2 in James Turner's talk and especially fascinating to me, was Ted Ryan's presentation on Coca-Cola, Inc.'s vast and highly systematic infrastructure in their digital assets mgmt. He stipulated a truism of sorts when he pointed to digital derivatives as cash in the bank if you take care from the get go to properly track and re-use. Next up, I dashed over to the "Open Forum on Moving Image Archival Education" panel. I went to the equivalent panel last conference and was not surprised to see many new and familiar faces discussing the merits of the various archival training programs out there. Lunch was held in the Vendor Exhibit Hall. Following this, I dropped in on the "Locating the Imaginary Ideal: Issues of Censorship in the Academic-Archival Moving Image Communities" where there was a lively and compelling discussion on different forms of censorship in both academic and archival contexts. This was probably one of my favorite panels thus far as there was some substantial, theoretical and practical questions posed regarding the topic in an arena of knowledge I'm most familiar with. Anyways, it was certainly fun to watch what had been contextualized as "pornographic" in our culture in a given sociohistorical timeframe. I was saddened to have missed two concurrent panels, " The Ethics of Authenticating and Interpreting Actualities" and "Archiving in a Digital World." Oh well. I was feeling ambitious so I went to the AMIA Annual Given Meeting and Open Forum, presided by current AMIA pres, Milt Shelter and the Board of Directors. Some heated debate about AMIA 's future in a time of cutbacks within the arts and cultural heritage funding was equally greeted with some celebratory remarks regarding AMIA's accomplishment in its mere 13 years of existence. The great treat of the day was getting into a bus and attending the restoration screening of THE KING AND I at the wonderful and beautiful Riverview Theatre in S. Minneapolis.

More later from the scene....

Best to all,


Friday, November 12, 2004

Reportage from the 2004 AMIA Conference - Part 1

Hi everyone:

After attending the first day of the conference, I have some highlights and comments to share with you good folks. Following on Anna's earlier post, yes, according to what we have seen at the Library of Congress/UCLA panel on the creation of the National Audio Visual Conservation Center in Culpepper, VA and its sister facility, under UCLA ausipice, in Santa Clarita, CA, there will be jobs for many of you (50-80 positions at Culpepper at least for now) opening up in the next year or too. For the UCLA complex, which is still in its late stages of planning, the plan there is to reconcile the different appendages of the UCLA FTV Archive there (a al Academy Film Archive in recent years with their facility at Vine St, in Hollywood) in that one complex with the exception of a small staff set to remain in Melnitz Hall near James Bridges Theater. There will be two new theaters (95 seats and 285 seats) on-site for archival screenings in addition to the Billy Wilder Theater housed in UCLA Hammer Museum (the main site for UCLA archival screenings in the future). There was a great deal of enthusiasm for creating an archival community in both UCLA and LOC's wish to include the involvement and participation of local colleges and universities (i.e. CalArts and College of the Canyon in Santa Clarita area). Much of the panel, however, was devoted to presenting the working schematics of the National AV Conservation Center (NAVCC) in Culpepper, VA.

On the social side of things, the AMIA student chapter gang and I enjoyed a traditional Irish pub lunch at the Local where the food and ambience were definitely tops in my mind. After treading down Nicollet Mall and passing by Target HQ, we made it back to the next panel. Besides the NAVCC, I went to the "Building a National Collection" one, sponsored by the International Outreach Task Force. The topics and issues discussed were ones I was familiar with but nevertheless, inspiring. Particularly, when we contemplate how developing and political unstable nations deal with the challenges of preserving their cultural memories under restrictive and ideologically polarized goverments not to mention the economic underdevelopment involved.

Some praises must go out to the AMIA poster session this year. Stop by and saw some interesting projects in the works. Karen Gracy, currently one of the co-chair of the Education Committee, regaled me with her explanation of the A* Census Survey undertaken by AMIA to study the growth and development of our little field.

Finally, the day ended with a clandestine screening of moving image archivists' own personal films. Imagine a room of archivists and information professionals, laughin' it up to images they have created and no doubt, would take care to preserve for others to see.

More from the trenches soon....

Lindy Leong
AMIA Student Chapter Archivist
UCLA Dept. of Film/TV/Digital Media

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Future Looks Great

So far the AMIA conference has been fun and a little overwhelming and pretty informative. The Reel Thing was pretty interesting though also really technical. The speakers referred constantly to the JTS symposium that happened a few months ago and it seemed as if there were a lot of vendors present. The highlight for me was Ross Lipman's presentation and the presentation on the King and I. I will write more about that in a later post.

Also, today is the 2nd day and after attending the NACC (National Audio Visual Conservation Center) panel, I can honestly say that it looks like the job market will be pretty good for the future. The archives they are building for the Library of Congress and also UCLA are pretty amazing. I will have to see if I can get access to the power point presentations that Gregory Lukow and company used.

Also, if anyone is interested in looking at the Reel Thing schedule/catalog I will place a copy in the AMIA mail folder in the GSEIS commons sometime next week.