With the presence of the director and editors Karianne Fiorini and Gianmarco Torri
Salvi Vivancos delves into his own process as an artist-archivist working with home movies (shot on film) as source of creation. Archival films are used to understand the importance of family images to shape memories.
The seminar will include the screening of Super8 reels and digital files.
Salvi Vivancos is an audio-visual artist, home movie preservationist, and art historian. The field of his artistic activity lies between audio-visual creation and home movie preservation, where he acts as an intermediary between home-movie images and their possible reinterpretations.
His current artistic production is based on the concept of Random Memory, with the re-use of images from home movies shown as collective memories in various forms and contexts. Some of the latest examples are the audio-visual installations Mar Menor. Family images. Common spaces at the Museo Nacional de Arqueología Subacuática within the Mucho Más Mayo art festival in Cartagena (Spain), and an analogue film performance made at the Regional Film Archive of Murcia also available on the Twitch channel random_memory.
His work is fuelled by the audio-visual preservation projects Memorias Celuloides and Red del Cine Doméstico as well as his research work as a collaborator of APEX MIAP NYU and as a member of the research project Home cinema in Spain: preservation, diffusion and appropriation. He is also a regular contributor to The Center for Home Movies, for which he curated the online compilation Home Movie Day and Night: 24 Hours Marathon in 2019. For the dissemination of these ways of capturing memory through home movies he conceives workshops and participates in educational projects, including the Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote, the MURAM Cartagena, and Re-framing Home Movies. Vivancos is currently working as a tutor for archive projects at the Elías Querejeta Zine Skola in San Sebastián.
by Karianne Fiorini e Gianmarco Torri
The day is close when the 8mm home-movie footage
will be collected and appreciated as beautiful folk art,
like songs and the lyric poetry that was created by the people.
Blind as we are, it will take us a few more years to see it,
but some people see it already.
Jonas Mekas, ‘Movie Journal,’ The Village Voice 1963
In spite of stops and starts, the Pesaro Film Festival Super8 sidebar lives on. We deal with Super8 in terms of medium, format, but especially of practice.
We have explored a tradition of gestures, of independence, of intimacy, and low-cost experimentation.
The Spanish artist Salvi Vivancos offers a glimpse into a yet another kind of genealogy – Super8 as an edge technology.
We were a group of artists interested in experimental film. Well, for us everything was experimental, since we had no idea of filmmaking. Anyway, we had to look for equipment such as cameras and projectors, and during this search we found home movies. We thought those were far more interesting, and we launched a project to preserve the home movies found within our local area.
This is also an opportunity for us to shift the focus on a theme we cherish, i.e., the preservation of amateur film memories. Salvi Vivancos has been doing this in Spain for over ten years by way of his projects Memorias Celuloides and La Red de Cine Doméstico1. At the same time, our goal is to juxtapose the themes of historical and cultural acknowledgment of a folk, daily film practice; the current protection of an artisanal and personal practice; and a critical and artistic reflection on the mechanisms of memory and media archaeology.
My filmmaking practice is more about an exploration of how home movies were created. I have found out that when I watch a home movie, I am in a position to understand it better because I have filmed with the same types of cameras and technologies they were made with.
The work and cultural action of Salvi Vivancos develops between rediscovery and preservation of the amateur filmmakers’ perspective; their lack of awareness; their instinctive documentary capacity; the artistic reworking of their perspective; and the re-contextualization and/or de-contextualization of those images, that are individual and yet collective – personal and yet social.
The term ‘artivist’ is a kind of joke that came up during a talk with artists and film archivists. I liked it, and started using it to introduce myself as an artist working with audio-visual archives and an activist for the preservation and valorisation of home movies.
As far as re-use is concerned, Super8 movies become an instrument to explore the visual structures of our self-representation, to stage an impersonal memory mechanism that is susceptible to enhance new gazes upon ourselves and the others.
The idea of the Random Memory performance came up because, thinking as an artist, and trying to work as an archivist, I realized the most important thing I could offer with my work was adding value to home movies and raising awareness about them. Being as neutral as possible in my personal work gives value to these images in themselves; they get to be seen because they are shown in a contemporary art context, which is more attractive than getting into an archive for most of the people.
in filmmaking, Super8 has become a way to deconstruct the professional gaze as well as to recover the pleasure and candour of shooting, the desire of filming the daily dimension that is increasingly pervading our lives, even though the essential is always missing.
How did amateur filmmakers shoot? How did they look at their daily lives? How did they manage – if they did – to capture memories, objects, and moments?
Apart from that hands-on historical research on the original tools and home movies, Super8 filming for me it is like thinking in a different way from what we are used to at present. When you hold a Super8 camera and you get to truly understand what it’s like, you necessarily have to think more than act. And what you finally decide to film will be the result of an authentic and conscious thinking.
This year, the Super8 theme is a historic and conceptual instrument to allow us a reflection on the way we look at things. At the same time, it serves to orient our research among the current flood of images, offering a more mediated approach to the recording of our lives.
Salvi Vivancos’ comments were gathered in May 2022.
1) Memorias Celuloides is an independent home movie preservation project that we have been carrying out since 2012. The area covers mostly the Murcia region of Spain, but national and international connections are also envisaged. La Red de Cine Doméstico aims to bring together similar projects to achieve a common goal linked to the preservation of amateur film and home movies. It currently networks active projects in Spain and its main tool is an open and accessible database online.
ALL SCREENINGS ARE FREE