||What is a video archive?
A Video archive is an institution which aims for preservation and distribution of video (moving image) art, and the education of the public.
There are a lot of video archives all over the world, such as :
Electronic Arts Intermix, New York
Lux, e-2, London
Video data Bank, Chicago
Monte Video- Time Based Arts, Amsterdam
Six Pack Film, Vienna
Film Forum, Stockholm
Time Line Konstfack, Stockholm
Danish Film Institute, Copenhagen
Light Cone, Paris
As preservation institutions, INA in France, IMAP, CoOl in the United States.
||There is no need for preservation because of DVD is indestructible
Some people still think that DVD is an archival format but research shows that DVD degrades over time. DVD is very good for exhibition, as it is cheap and easily duplicated. However, its magnetic fields will deteriorate over the decades, and the quality of the moving image suffers. When a DVD is burned, the data is compiled and compressed, and in the process, information is lost. In terms of quality, DVD is not appropriate for archiving.
Films are ephemeral and fragile products, even the most durable of films can become unusable in less than a single human lifespan, They are deteriorating faster than archives can preserve them. Preservation tries to slow film's inevitable decay by controlling storage conditions and by copying endangered works onto more durable formats. To store to Hard disc in computer is still risky as the system is susceptible to crashing. So storage as digital data in a computer system is only a stop-gap or supplementary measure; we hope that a new technology will emerge to preserve moving images.
Some government bodies have researched how to preserve moving images, such as the Netherlands Media Art Institute. The best way to preserve is to convert the moving images to an archival format and store them at stable temperatures and humidity.
It is critical to preserve them, otherwise we lose our important cultural heritage.
||Why do we need a video archive besides museums and galleries?
Museums preserve video pieces for their collection, and galleries distribute and promote their artists' art pieces, including video works.
However, they do not specialize in moving images. (though some foreign museums collaborate with local video archives and leave pieces with them for preservation). Basically, museums store moving images in the format they were in when acquired. This is not a good way to preserve. They would not "remaster" their format to retain its quality.
Galleries promote and distribute video art works, when there is any conversion needed, usually it's a troublesome technical task done by artists with their own resources. Artists have to pay the costs each time.
In addition, video pieces have peculiarities that make them difficult to manage, such as copyright clearance and the reluctance of galleries to sell and collectors to invest in such a democratic art form, and some artists do not have galleries to promote their work.
Video archives can help in all these cases.
||Why do you specifically stick with video?
There is no purpose to categorizing contemporary art by medium.
Nowadays, there is no significance to categorizing contemporary art by medium.
However, if the medium has special features that require particular attention, such as photography and video, it is important to store or research them in one place where special equipment and expert knowledge can be brought to bear.
It is significant to research the development of a medium in a special institution.
||What are the advantages for artists and agents?
If an artist gets an offer from a gallery or a museum, he or she has to convert a piece to the appropriate format for exhibiting and send it to them. If the institution is abroad the artist has to check their code system (PAL, NTSC, SECAM etc,) and region code. In many cases, these tasks have to be done by artists themselves, but if they don't have certain equipment they have to pay for studio rental and a technician.
They can outsource these tasks to a video archive. Sometimes artists can receive their fee without any practical or administrative costs thanks to the help of a video archive.
On the other hand, if researchers and curators want to know about video art in Japan or are looking for some moving images for exhibitions, where should they go? They can go to a video archive. Most video archives will help people for research. MIACA will help those experts to find pieces. This is a huge advantage for artists and galleries in gaining another distribution channel.
Moreover, in artists studios and galleries, fire, natural disaster or human errors can damage art pieces. MIACA will hedge against these risks as well.
||What are advantages for general public?
MIACA can help people when they ...
: would like to know about Japan's video art
: want to see figurative foreign video art
They can come to our video library with an appointment (we plan to open to public in the near future)
Besides the library, we will organize lectures, symposiums and round tables inviting artists, researchers and curators. They will all be open to anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge of contemporary art.
However, the most important contribution to the public is that a preservation of Japan's important art pieces for next generation.
||How do you clear the issue of copyright?
The issue of copyright can be resolved with contracts between artists and an archive, and between institutions and an archive.
There are many archives already working in the same way. We have researched how they clear all the copyright problems, and our contract is based on the contracts that actually work right now.
Furthermore, we only distribute to institutions. So we expect the possibility of illegal use and violation of copyright law to be less.