- Hanging from the doorknob of my office, I’ve got a collection of conference-badge lanyards that would probably stretch to the moon and back. (One of them even had an unused drink ticket left in it! How did THAT happen?) I’m sharing some of what I have learned from attending and presenting at umpty-leven symposia, annual meetings, research institutes, and other fora in a webinar for AAPB Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellows on July 25. Our focus will be on how to get the most out of attending SAA’s Archives2018, but the content should be helpful to anyone who’s looking to optimize their conference-going experiences. Slides from the webinar can be viewed here (PDF); webinar participants and PBPF Fellows can view the session recording and access related resources here (password required).
The rest of August 2018 is hot, hot, hot, too!
- I’m once again leading a week-long workshop on the history, identification, and preservation of AV materials for the California Rare Books School. CalRBS always brings together expert instructors and highly engaged working professionals who are keen to continue their education and deepen their knowledge on a range of topics. It’s a real treat to teach in this program: the M-F/9-5 format gives us plenty of space to supplement theoretical instruction with hands-on exercises and site visits, so students get a lot out of it, too.
- If you caught Eliot Wilczek’s SAA Research Forum session last year on “wicked problems” (societal challenges that are complex, amorphous, politically charged, and urgent), you should plan to attend the panel session on archival engagement with wicked problems that he has pulled together for this year’s SAA conference in D.C. I’ll present on the challenges of evidentiary media, along with my esteemed colleagues Eira Tansey, who will be discussing appraisal in the anthropocene era, and Anne Gilliland, who’s speaking on the subject of borders, records, and refugees.
- Also at SAA: As part of what promises to be a (possibly) demented and (definitely) inspired pop-up session on the pros and cons of digitization as a preservation strategy, watch me attempt a five-minute whiz-bang multimedia demonstration of how digitization falls short when it comes to motion picture film…complete with REAL film and WORKING projector! It could be great. Or not.
- When I get back to LA, I’ll also be attending the Reel Thing Technical Symposium from August 23-25. The final program’s still taking shape, but promises to offer the usual array of fascinating restoration case studies, technical updates, and opportunities for further spirited debate over the Great Grain Reduction Question…
If you know me from online, and will be at any of these events, please introduce yourself and say hi in person–it’ll be nice to meet you!
- In November, I visited New Orleans to gather with my colleagues in the media archiving and preservation community at AMIA‘s annual meeting. I helped offer a warm welcome along with AMIA leadership and various committee and interest group representatives at the pre-reception mixer on Wednesday, 11/29, got a second viewing of the great new documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time, and moderated the Q&A afterward with its distinguished director, Bill Morrison. Along with my colleagues Ed Benoit, Janet Ceja, and Karen Gracy, I also presented an update of our project on core competencies for A/V archiving in the heritage sector. Slides from my talk and livestream recording of the full session are available online, and I always welcome feedback.
- Home Movie Day saw me helping out as emcee for the two Los Angeles-area events–the first of which was held on Saturday, October 7 at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater, and the second of which was part of the special programming for the annual LA Archives Bazaar at USC’s Doheny Library. At the latter, I was pleased to share the Super8 footage that incoming students shot during our Media Arts Boot Camp at the start of the school year. For a bunch of first-time filmmakers, they did an absolutely amazing job!
- On Sunday, June 25, I’ll be helping out with the second annual Media Archaeology Workshop sponsored by the UCLA AMIA Student Chapter, the fantastic LA Archivists Collective, the Hammer Museum, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I’ll be leading a segment that I call a “gross anatomy clinic” for videotape media — helping people get into the guts of VHS tapes, so they can understand why we take the steps we do to preserve them, and discussing how this medium works in comparison to film and other video formats.
- The fabulous Amelia Abreu, principal of Abreu Consulting and founder of Portland’s UX Night School, and I are collaborating on an online workshop on “Approaching your job search as a UX project”–look for that in the UXNS Online offerings soon!
- Along with Det. Sgt. Brandon Epstein of the New Brunswick (NJ) Police Department, I presented a workshop at this year’s IACP Technology Conference on ensuring secure, long-term storage and preservation for digital media evidence (DME). We covered the various challenges to law enforcement agencies in managing DME, identified skills required for optimal DME management, and enumerated benefits of dedicated DME staffing. Click here to access slides from our presentation (PDF).
- Each odd-numbered year brings us another Bastard Film Encounter. This year, I was part of the program committee, and helped put together a great selection of screenings to stimulate discussion and debate about the challenges posed to archives and archivists by audiovisual materials that are difficult, in all sorts of ways. Our Nixon filmmaker and legal scholar Brian Frye keynoted, along with New York-based bon vivant/artist/provacateur Bradley Eros. We also reprised the live-band karaoke experience from Bastards 2 with the help of NCSU librarian Jason Evans Groth and some more great local talent. Bastards 4 will be scheduled for spring of 2019 at a venue to be determined: If you’re interested in hosting or attending the next Bastards, please sign up for updates via the home page, http://bastardfilmencounter.com/, or email the gang directly: info (at) bastardfilmencounter (dot) com.
- The Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association offered a warm welcome and an additional venue to share findings from our National Forum meeting at their 2016 annual training conference in Scottsdale, AZ.
- Pittsburgh, PA hosted the Association of Moving Image Archivists’ annual meeting November 9-12, 2016. I was there for a panel session called “Managing Bodycam Video: Challenges, Needs, and New Approaches,” where I shared preliminary results from our August National Forum meeting at UCLA. Joining me on that panel was Cmdr. Ed Trapp of the Pittsburgh Police Bureau, who discussed their experiences with launching a new body-worn camera program in 2016. I also chaired the latest iteration of the always-popular “freaky film formats” panels (this year’s theme: Mad Scientists!) with my colleagues Marsha Gordon, Dino Everett, and Susan Etheridge.
- On October 21, an outstanding group of people convened for a panel, “On Janus and Justice: Archives, Access, and Ethical Use of Video Evidence,” that media scholar Amy Herzog and I put together, which was hosted by the Mediating the Archive Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research and the CUNY Graduate Center for the Humanities.
- On September 30, I discussed how Home Movie Day organizers have used a deceptively simple game–Home Movie Bingo–to engage audiences more deeply in the visual and historical content of minimally identified amateur films, as part of the third annual Extending Play conference at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information.
- For the recent Long Beach Indie International Film, Media and Music Conference, I presented a paper–“Between High School and Hollywood: Diversity, Industry, and the Student Academy Awards“–as part of the conference’s focused track on Gender, Race and the Entertainment Industry. The dataset I compiled on Student Academy Award winners is now posted on Google Docs; click the links for access to the raw data or selected data breakdowns, or email me for a draft copy of the paper, which provides further details on the project.
- The Daily Bruin highlighted our new seminar on surveillance, bodycams, and records management, which I’m co-teaching this fall with my UCLA colleague and “On the Record, All the Time” collaborator Jean-François Blanchette.
- Film scholar and critic Peter Labuza kindly invited me to be a guest on his podcast, The Cinephiliacs, in early August. We discussed my career trajectory as a media archivist, the relationship between historic home movies and the amateur videos of the present day, and the IMLS-funded “On the Record, All The Time” national forum on bodycams and data management I co-organized with Jean-François Blanchette.
- My History, Identification, and Preservation of Motion Picture Materials course for the California Rare Books School ran from August 1-5, 2016, and included a great crop of students from diverse backgrounds and interest areas. Next year’s CalRBS course offerings and application information will be posted on their site in the coming months.
- I was part of the AAPB National Digital Stewardship Residency program’s Immersion Week in Boston in late July, leading a half-day session on professional development and networking. Video of my session is available via the Forum Network site, along with the other informative presentations from that week. WGBH also summarized the professional development session with a feature post on their news blog: Top 10 Pro Tips for Networking.
- From June 6-10, I attended the summer meeting of the Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence, which was generously hosted by CU Denver’s National Center for Media Forensics.
- My paper “Extracting the Evidentiary: Ethical archival practice in the bodycam era” was part of Mediating the Archive: A Conference on Moving Images and Social Histories at the CUNY Graduate Center on 4/15/16. Audio recording of the presentations should be available on the site soon.
- Delano Massey’s recent coverage for WKYT-TV of the Lexington (KY) Police Department’s body-worn camera program included a few comments from me on the challenges of video technology, long-term storage and access for bodycam recordings.