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Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, photo: Kazue Kawase

What to preserve?

MIACA will collect and preserve video art in Japan including documentary films of art performances. We collect them and convert to archival format for long-term preservation, storing them in storage at optimum levels of temperature and humidity.
We also collect foreign video art pieces for both educational and distributional purposes.

Why convert to archival format?

Moving image art pieces are in variety of formats such as U-matic, 35mm, 16mm, VHS, miniDV, DVD and so on. They are not really suitable for archiving.
Some people mistakenly believe that DVD is the best format to preserve but current researches show that the life of DVD is not as long as expected. Also, in the process of compiling the data to burn DVD, much information is lost. Thus DVD is not a good choice for archival format.
Physical and analog tapes like 16mm or 35mm can be easily damaged by "Acid Syndrome", so it is critical to convert them to an appropriate archival format. Also they would be slightly damaged after each use. If you store them without using them, tape formats such as mini DV and VHS would become stuck together eventually.
In light of this situation, some countries have started researching better methods of preservation. Commercial, documentary and experimental films are being preserved in many countries. However, many films from the 20s have already been lost. In Japan, the Film Center of National Modern Museum preserves important domestic films.

In our country, moving images of contemporary art are scattered. Artists, galleries, museums and collectors keep them apart. Our video archive will collect together all important video pieces and make a platform for video art. Moreover, it will conserve them in good condition.

In conclusion, it is critical to start up a video archive of contemporary art. Otherwise our important heritage will perish. There is not a second to lose.