If it is true that since the introduction of accelerated digitalization, the practice of archiving has strongly influenced modes of academic work and cultural activities, it has also massively affected artistic practice. Such influence is deep and two-fold: not only the archive-related techniques provided a brand new set of possibilities for artists and filmmakers, but the technologies enabling the archiving also became part of the aesthetics put forth by cinematic and visual arts works. Automatic praxis such as sampling, saving, structuring a directory/folder archive or database entered the realm of artistic practice itself, which now more and more often includes the aforementioned actions as explicit components and essential moments of the creative process. The paper takes into consideration such mechanism, proposing a comparative analysis of the multiple media installation Save as… (2013) by New York-based artist Gautam Kansara and Kevin B. Lee’s video Transformers: the Premake (2014). Both Kansara’s artwork and Lee’s desktop cinema effort present different, though similarly interesting shared expe- riences of recording, collecting, sharing practices and paratexts redefinition. Centered on the idea of ‘gesture’ and on the figure of the ‘table’ as both a real object an a metaphor for orientation, the two works invite to reflect upon the contemporary shaping of personal memory into discursive formations, and the changing identity of the cinematic medium.
Miriam De Rosa is Lecturer in Film Studies at UCSC Milan. She serves in the NECS Publication Committee, co-edits the exhibition review section of NECSUS and the Art&Media Files section of Italian journal Cinergie. She published articles and books chapters on cinema and visual arts, cinematic experience and medium specificity, and the relationship among subject, space, and filmic device. She’s the author of the monographic volume Cinema e Postmedia (2013) and her current research project deals with moving images relations.