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     Video Art / Media Art Preservation:  Studies and Suggestions
                     THE DANISH VIDEO ART DATA BANK

 

Involvement with preservation of video tapes

 The involvement of THE DANISH VIDEO ART DATA BANK with preservation of video tapes comes from the involvement with presentation of Danish video art at festivals and screenings – especially when presenting selections / compilations with older Danish video art works. Let me give you an example:

 When the Data Bank should present the compilation “Oldies – Danish Video Art from the 80’ties” at the International Retina Festival in Hungary in August 2002, we wanted to include a video work from 1979 by Svend Thomsen. We had it on a Low Band U-matic tape and we had last time used it in 1988 at a summer show at Ny Carlsberg Glyptoket, one of the two big art museums in Copenhagen. When we put the tape in the U-matic machine we got at the start some unstable pictures and then nothing but noise / snow.

 And when we put another tape, we new was OK, in the machine to check the machine we had to clean the drum etc. before getting a picture – but trying once again to play the Svend Thomsen tape we just had the result, that we had to clean the machine once more - and still we got no useable picture

Knowing that the program for the festival had already been printed, we could do nothing but inserting a text saying that it could not be screened because the tape had detoriated. 

Luckily enough the artist, now living in Belgium, still had the master tape and this was still OK.