Filmmakers have been raiding the archive for decades, making new work out of old. The aesthetics of this practice are extremely varied, and have undergone several phases of revision with new technologies and new artistic practices, not to mention different archival sources. In this class we will survey the history of this practice as it has evolved since the 1950s, and into the digital era. Through the work of moving image artists and media theorists we will explore the changing role of the archive in audio-visual culture, as it intersects with a wide range of media technologies, cultural and social priorities, and modes of access. What kind of knowledge is produced by different kinds of archives, and how does that knowledge shift with changes in media and technologies of storage and access? What are the politics of the archive, and how have archives served (or not served) different constituencies in Canada and globally? How are archives funded and supported and how does that support influence the kinds of knowledge, research, and historiography thereby produced?

[Epistemology Archive 801 2020 syllabus]