Some art takes place in small, little-known, interdependent communities – crevices. Internationally, expanded cinema has flourished in a series of interconnected crevices but expanded cinema involves technology and live performance. The point of expanded cinema is that the work takes place live with an audience, within a community or a scene. Expanded cinema involves media technology, live performance and often takes a mix-all-the-arts attitude. This means the usual approaches to archiving are ineffective. Methods like preserving the physical objects through storage, duplication and digitisation do little to capture the experience of the work which I have argued is essential (Curham 2021). Intrigued by the problems expanded cinema poses for future audiences to experience works made by earlier generations of artists, working in the collaboration Teaching and Learning Cinema, my colleague and I have turned to re-enactment. Our process has evolved to include making instructions or ‘user’s manuals’ for expanded cinema.
Dr Louise Curham is an archivist, media artist and researcher based in Canberra. She is a lecturer in the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University, teaching into the archives, records and audiovisual preservation subjects. Louise uses her art and her expertise as an archivist to explore themes that flow from old media, ranging from digitisation to the impact of algorithm-based technology on citizens.