[ISEA2022] Paper: Vanina Hofman & Valentina Montero — Digital Anarchival Poetics: Algorithms looking into Audiovisual Heritage


Full Paper. Session: Futures and Heritages / Algorithms, machine learning and audiovisual heritage

Keywords: Anarchivism, Generative Art, Performativity, Collective Memory, Audiovisual Heritage

Our study delves into diverse anarchival tendencies by focusing on two case-studies that address the audiovisual heritage: Jan Bot: bringing film heritage to the algorithmic age, and Oráculo de Capturas de Pantalla. In both, we underline the strategies by which other possibilities are opened up for memory and history.

Throughout the 20th century and up to the present day, many artists have addressed the archive by questioning its function, classification systems, legitimacy, registration technologies or inclusion/exclusion protocols. Considering that within digital culture, AI has become a key factor for information management, this article explores how the use of these technologies in art is offering new perspectives to think about the archive, heritage and memory.

Within the meshwork of existing practices and approaches that operate creatively challenging traditional hierarchies and protocols of the archive, we will pull from two strings: 1) on the one hand, the group of appropriationist-type tactics that operate by activating new interpretations of already constituted archives; 2) on the other, those that propose the creation of new archives, generally dealing with scattered elements that were previously ignored or discarded.

We will delve into these two anarchival strategies by focusing on two case studies that address critically the filmic and audiovisual heritage: Jan Bot, bringing film heritage to the algorithmic age, and the Oráculo de Capturas de Pantalla (OCP). In both cases we will study the strategies by which other possibilities are opened up for history, and the place given to algorithms in their construction.

  • Vanina Hofman, PhD (Buenos Aires, Argentina,1978) works and lives in Barcelona, Spain. Lecturer at the History and Art History Department of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV). She develops her work in a hybrid territory between academic research and cultural production. Her field of research lies in the intersections among Art, Science, Technology & Society. She is particularly interested in the processes involved in the construction of memory in contemporary culture, the archiving of media arts, the unconventional arts histories and the digital heritage. She has recently published the book “Divergent Practices of Media Arts Preservation. Remembering and Forgetting in the Digital Culture” (Prometeo Libros, 2019) based on previous fieldwork conducted in Argentina. She is part of the interdisciplinary Research Group SETOPANT (URV, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Institut Català d’Arqueologia Clàssica). https://www.historia.urv.cat/en/faculty/historia-de-lart/hofman
  • Valentina Montero (Santiago de Chile (Chile), 1973). PhD in Advanced Artistic Production (University of Barcelona, 2015). Lives in Valparaiso and works in Santiago. Curator, educator and researcher. Her research, texts and exhibitions address the uses and appropriations of technologies and science in creative practices from a critical perspective. Currently is Associated Professor in Finis Terrae University; director of the Master’s in Image Research-Creation at the same university, and professor in the Master’s of Media Arts at the University of Chile. She also is director of PAM / Plataforma Arte y Medios and ANID / Fondecyt postdoctoral researcher.