AMIA @ NYU Helps with Sandy Recovery at the Eyebeam Art+Technology Center

Following Hurricane Sandy last October, AMIA student chapter members and NYU MIAP Students joined local archival professionals, alumni, and volunteers in helping the Eyebeam Art+Technology Center to recover and restore their video collection.

As a result of the storm, almost the entire collection of video and file-based materials at Eyebeam had been submerged in 3 feet of dirty, contaminated water from the Hudson River and sewage pipes, making everything vulnerable to deterioration and the eventual inability to recovery the data if the items were not cleaned and dried properly over the days immediately following.

In reaction to Eyebeam’s call for help AVPreserve Senior Consultant Kara Van Malssen, AVPreserve President Chris Lacinak, and Anthology Film Archive Archivist Erik Piil came in to take on the recovery and care of the 1,000+ materials contaminated, as well as leadership of the volunteers working to recover and stabilize the collection.

The first recovery efforts began 3 days after the storm, with staff and media experts biking and walking to Eyebeam with whatever supplies they could gather and transport.  Over the next day as the call for volunteers went out, people came in ready to work.  Soon, with more supplies on hand, workflows and procedures were in place and volunteers put to work.  Gallons of water were brought in to help remove the contaminated water and residue from media and containers.

Over those following days groups of volunteers worked to decontaminate and clean each media item and case individually.  After cleaning the materials were left to air dry.  By the end of 3 days over 1,300 media items were cleaned and stabilized thanks to the help of close to 40 people.

In May, Kara Van Malssen published a case study on the recovery of the Eyebeam Art+Technology Center collection.  The study looks at the impact of the flood, the recovery plan utilized, equipment used, as well as some unexpected challenges and tips for a recovery effort.  Kara’s paper not only provides information on running a recovery effort, but also how best to prepare.

See more on AVPreserve’s blog here.

Kara’s case study can be found here.

A short video of the recovery efforts is located on vimeo:  Recovering Eyebeam’s Archive

AMIA @ NYU Student Chapter on the AMIA Newsletter

The  2013 Winter Issue of the AMIA Newsletter is now available!

Check it out! Included is a report on our student chapter members and activities, as well as information about the student chapters at UCLA and Rochester, reports from the 2012 AMIA conference in Seattle, upcoming events, and more.

If you are a AMIA member you can access the newsletter online here

Not an AMIA member? Join AMIA here, and learn more about the student chapters and archiving community!

Orphans 8 Tweets of the Day: Day 4

Another day, another end of a symposium. It was great posting these tweets and reading others.  Enjoy!

@AMIAatNYU
Jon Gartenberg and Jeff Capp presenting now on ‘Tassilo Adam: Moving Image Adventures in the Dutch East Indies of the ’20s’ #orphans8
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@kcinffx
Go to http://Gartenbergmedia.com to learn more about the company’s library excavation projects #orphans8 @AMIAatNYU
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@AMIAatNYU
Gartenberg: another category of orphan films=those that are languishing in garages, libraries, basements. Lots of nitrate there. #orphans8
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@AMIAatNYU
#orphans8 Gartenberg giving background on Tassilo Adam, an ethnographer who lived in the Dutch East Indies in the ’20s

Read through to the end. Chucky Lou is worth it… trust me. (you trust me, don’t you?)

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Orphans 8 Tweets of the Day: Day 3

A tweeted summary of today’s panels!

@AMIAatNYU
No rest for the wicked(ly awesome) #orphans8 #bcltorphanworks#marac #archivistsneversleep
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@kcinffx
Rush to http://Livingroomcandidate.org to see a wide array of presidential campaign films! My how times have changed #orphans8@MovingImageNYC
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@AVGeeks
I found a working outlet! Woo-hoo! #orphans8
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@AMIAatNYU
Charles Musser presenting now on ‘The Truman Story’, ‘The Dewey Story’, and ‘A People’s Convention’ #orphans8
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@sethand
Poll: Best #orphans8 mustache: Gunning or Musser?
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Orphans 8 Day 3: Evening Live Blog

ORPHANS LIVE BLOG Friday Evening

Courtesy of Rebecca Fraimow

8:16 PM: Second-year MIAP student Seth Anderson is up at the podium to introduce tonight’s program of films, and also pianist Donald Sosin, whose adorable daughter we just met in the green room.
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8:17 PM: Audrey Young and Issa Garcia Ascot are talking about the Archiva Memorio, a program “to find and preserve all orphan film in Mexico.”  Six months after their launch, they already have 1500 reels of film.  The film we’re about to see is the only one that survived the fire at the Cineteca in 1982 – talk about an orphan.
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8:34 PM: After watching the movie about the mobile film units that the Archiva Memoria sent around Mexico in the 1970s, I’m pretty sure we all want a magic film-projection Transformer van to drive around the countryside (or at least I know I do.)
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Orphans 8 Tweets of the Day: Day 2

@kcinffx
Plentiful hedonistic cinephiles #orphans8
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@AMIAatNYU
Barbara Miller talking about the history of APC Building 13 at MoMI, where we’re sitting now #orphans8
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@AMIAatNYU
McCarthy: we are not the evil nun in the case of orphan films, we adopt them because we know they’re worth saving #orphans8
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@sethand
Tina Campt on “orphan” photographs. My favorite kind of photos. Imagined histories, etc. #orphans8
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More great tweets below the break! Believe us, there are some real gems in there…
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Orphans 8 Day 2: Afternoon Live blog

ORPHANS LIVE BLOG, Thursday Afternoon

Courtesy of Rebecca Fraimow

2:20 PM: Walked in late and missed most of the introduction to this 1969 film recruiting for telephone operators – fortunately it speaks for itself.
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2:38 PM: Filmmaker Nell Cox is here to talk about her work and confess that while some phone calls in the movie were real, some were her friends calling in and asking stupid questions for effect.  (I’m going to guess “Is it 6 AM or 6 PM?” was a question from a ringer.)
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2:45 PM: Walter Forsberg steps up to present on computer animation pioneers, which means that we’re in for another hallucinogenic time.
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2:49 PM: Walter explains the “Tom Gunning-approved” term “a cinema of experiments” for the scientist-filmmaker pioneers of the (very) early computer animation era.
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Orphans 8 Day 2: Morning Live blog

ORPHANS LIVE BLOG, Thursday Morning

Courtesy of Rebecca Fraimow

If you’re enjoying the amazing tweets being generated at the Orphans 8 Symposium, give this live blog a read. AMIA @ NYU’s Rebecca Fraimow provides thoughtful and deeper insights of the Orphans experience not found on twitter.

9:37 AM: The theater is getting increasingly packed, which is pretty good for nine in the morning.  Latecomers are going to have some difficulty finding inconspicuous seats near the edges to slip into.
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9:40 AM: David Schwartz is here to welcome us. “In comparison with eunuchs in a harem, I think you’re all perverse and hedonistic cinephiles.”  And proud of it!
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9:45 AM: Richard Allen, second welcome: “This is a massive, glorious event, the best one on our calendar, and I don’t have to do anything!”
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9:48 AM: Applause for the MIAP contributions to the last Orphans DVD, which won a distinction for “most original contribution to film history” from the Bologna Film Festival.
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Orphans 8 Symposium: Opening Night

And now… some Opening Tweets…
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@MovingImageNYC
Looking forward to four days of rare, rediscovered, and recently preserved films #Orphans8
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@AMIAatNYU
Aaaaand we’re underway! Wine and cheese at the opening #orphans8
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@Siobhan_Carreen
‘imagination feeds on images’: TRANSFORMATIONS ’68 film made by Ralph Sargent for IBM. 1 more reason to love Ralph. #orphans8
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@RetoKromer
#orphans8 «Archivists who don’t like film are like eunuchs in a harem.» ~ Tom Gunning
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@supercomedynerd
Serial Queen=Extraordinary Body. Cereal Queen=Pretty Ordinary Body #orphans8
US premiere of DIE HOCHBANKATASTROPHE, history being made #orphans8
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@rufusderham
Quick! Give us a spare train. #orphans8

Orphans… In Space!

Orphan films are great but I whole-heartedly believe everything is better when outer space is involved. Here is a quick update on some space news: funding cuts to NASA’s space shuttle program and Mars missions are painting a very bleak picture for the future of space travel in the U.S. On the international level, the plans for space are a bit brighter, with the growth of China’s space program, and North Korea’s announcement to launch a satellite into orbit, both of which are sparking a call for action in the U.S.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium and ostensibly the spokesperson for space, recently acquired the attention of the Senate, advocating for the development and funding of space programs. (Here is a longer version of his speech.) His new book, Space Chronicles, was released this past month. All of this activity, quite luckily, and either directly or indirectly, has led to this. Now, what a wonderful coincidence!

The well-timed Orphans in Space 2-disc DVD will be available this year at the Orphans 8 Symposium. Make sure to get yourself a copy!

A few key items may catch your attention. From 1947, Meteorites is a beautiful black and white film from Russia exploring the role of comets and the nature of the “falling stars.” One of three items from the Prelinger Archives is The Big Bounce, produced by Jerry Fairbanks during the height of the Cold War in 1960. It recounts the early years of satellite development and global telecommunications. Narration by Megan Prelinger, space and technology historian as well as co-principle of the Prelinger Archives, is available for this piece. Teenage Cosmonauts, from 1979 highlights the lessons, activities, and hopes of space and engineering aspirants in the U.S.S.R. These are only a few of the films on the first disc.

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