Archive/Counter-Archive held its 2019 Symposium at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto from December 12 - 14, 2019.
The Symposium featured free Keynote Presentations open to the public featuring Ross Lipman and Juana Suárez, as well as meeting sessions between the A/CA network, panel presentations, and a special private screening of archival finds.
Over 70 A/CA project participants gathered from across Canada, including artists, archivists, researchers, and team members from artist-run centres, memory institutions, and academic institutions.
See the full Symposium Schedule and the Fantastic Finds Archival Screening Program below, followed by highlights and photos:
The Symposium began with an evening Keynote Presentation by independent artist-restorationist Ross Lipman, presenting his spectacular live essay The Exploding Digital Inevitable and Bruce Conner's Crossroads.
Day 2 of the Symposium featured a full day of activities for A/CA participants!
The morning began with opening remarks from A/CA Project Director Janine Marchessault:
Following Marchessault's remarks were check-in meetings between A/CA Case Studies, Working Groups, Student Researchers and Community Partners; as well as a special discussion on A/CA's Principles of Respect. A/CA's Principles of Respect Committee and the A/CA Management Committee are identifying key areas for the Principles of Respect document, similar to a Charter of Rights.
Discussions were chaired by Principles of Respect Committee members Ben Donoghue, Jennifer Dysart, and ME Luka. Topics that guided the discussions include:
Remuneration & Labour of Being Studied
Respectful Recognition & Permission
Community Organizations + Academy Relationships
Power and Intersectional Understandings of Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality
The Principles of Respect will be an ongoing and living document guided by the work produced by the Case Studies and Working Groups, which will continue to grow throughout the project.
Next was an invigorating Keynote Presentation by NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program director Juana Suárez, "From Footnote to Main Text: Working with Minor Audiovisual Archives in Latin America."
Archives are evolving places shaped by migration, displacement, technology, and movement...
The afternoon featured two special sessions for A/CA participants:
Session #1: Case Study Panel – Active Research in the Field
- Angelina McLeod, University of Manitoba – Urban Shaman Case Study
- Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler, Winnipeg Film Group, with Andrew Burke, University of Winnipeg – Winnipeg Film Group Case Study
- Jennifer VanderBurgh, Saint Mary’s University – Margaret Perry/Nova Scotia Archives Case Study
Session #2: Community & Artists Engaging in Archives – Research Creation
- Jennifer Dysart – Archive/Counter-Archive and Library and Archives Canada Artist in Residence
- Debbie Ebanks Schlums, Co-Director of the Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film & Natalka Pucan, Artist – Saugeen Takes on Film Workshop
- Tamara Lang and Susan Lord – Inuuqatikka: My Dear Relations: Arnait Exhibition (at the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre)
The day concluded with a private evening screening, "Fantastic Finds," programmed by A/CA Research Associate and Project Manager Aimée Mitchell with submissions from across the A/CA network.
The screening brought together glimpses into a wide range of moving image collections from across Canada, including: personal home movies, under-screened works from Artist-Run Centre collections, a colonial ghost buried in the permafrost from Dawson City, a recovered unfinished film, and a production by the first all-Indigenous film unit in Canada.
The final day of the Symposium featured feedback and next steps regarding the Principles of Respect discussions, as well as updates from Case Study and Working Group leads.
The Symposium was also the first time that students from our partner universities (York University, Ryerson University, Queen's University, and Concordia University) gathered together in person! We look forward to the initiatives the A/CA Student Committee will bring in the coming years.
On behalf of the A/CA Team, we would like to thank all of our attendees, our Keynote Presenters Ross Lipman and Juana Suárez, and the TIFF team. Stay tuned for A/CA's upcoming activities in 2020!