Rick Prelinger: Noisy Archives and the Future of Memory
Beginning with what we think we know about archives, history and the digital turn, this provocative talk (with photos and archival clips) takes us on a contrarian and speculative journey through archives and memory keeping. It argues that we need to think beyond simple binaries like “analog” and “digital,” and proposes archives with permeable walls, where records move in and out of archives with ease and are freely available to all people and communities.
Rick Prelinger is an archivist, filmmaker, writer and educator. He began collecting "ephemeral films" (films made for specific purposes at specific times, such as advertising, educational and industrial films; more recently called "useful cinema") in 1983. His collection of 60,000 films was acquired by Library of Congress in 2002, and since that time Prelinger Archives has again grown to include some 30,000 home movies and 7,000 other film items. Beginning in 2000, he partnered with Internet Archive to make a subset of the Prelinger Collection (now over 8,700 films) available online for free viewing, downloading and reuse. His archival feature Panorama Ephemera (2004) played in venues around the world, and his feature project No More Road Trips? received a Creative Capital grant in 2012. His 30 Lost Landscapes participatory urban history projects have played to many thousands of viewers in San Francisco, Detroit, Oakland, Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere. He is a board member of Internet Archive and frequently writes and speaks on the future of archives. With Megan Prelinger, he co-founded Prelinger Library, an experimental research library in downtown San Francisco, in 2004. It is still open to the public. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Film & Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz.
This is a free event.