Between Preservation and Exhibition: Debates on Digital Technology in European Film Archives

Maral Mohsenin | University of Amsterdam | Between Preservation and Exhibition: Debates on Digital Technology in European Film Archives | Supervisors: Giovanna Fossati, Benoit Turgueti | 2017-2021

This research project focuses on the film archives in the digital era from an epistemological point of view, and is characterized by its study of the archival institutions in Europe and their practices and policies. The digital revolution in cinema was not limited to the production and projection methods, but it also influenced the film archives, which are currently going through a transition ignited by the arrival and expansion of digital technology. This research aims to study the impact of digital technology in national film archives in Europe, and the issues raised by the controversies the technology has provoked. What kind of challenges and possibilities in preservation and valorisation of films arise in the archives? How does this technical transformation modify the archival policies and practices? How do the technical, ethical, historical and economic issues intertwine in a context heavily modified by the digital technology? The research tends to

apprehend these questions by studying the network of discourses around the subject. Therefore, these questions can be reformulated as: How do the archives and their representatives perceive the digital technology and its impact? How do their views differ from those of historians, theoreticians, technicians, and other agents in the industry of cinema? What is the relationship between these discourses and the practices and policies of the archives?