In Carola Spadoni’s studio at Bethanien, diagrams, maps, highlighted keywords, colourful drawings, scattered fragments of a life, the artist herself, print-outs of footage from the several hundred hours of recorded material comprising her film and video collection, are all crowding the walls and the large desk. Footage collected by the artist and filmmaker using her portable cameras to record many significant political events, as well as moments of ordinary life documented by her wandering eye. Much of the footage reclaims the art of everyday life. Drifting through cities and landscapes, the eye of the camera points to details of events and actions, historical events such as the 2001 Genoa G8 demos, a massive May 1st gathering in Havana and Fidel Castro’s official speech. Footage of Bamako, Segou and Mopti and the Pays Dogon in Mali; the Zapatistas with Subcomandante Marcos in an EZLN national meeting in Chiapas in 1996. Meetings with the women workers of the S.E.W.A. movement in India.
The Peripatetic Film & Video Archive evolved from Spadoni’s desire to make accessible to others the materials of her experience and work, the many hours of footage that, through the eye of the artist and her journeys, tell the story of a geography in motion, but also of an era. The digital archive is the outcome of an ongoing process of research that attempts to answer the question of what an artistic archive’s website can be and do; and what the possibilities of the digital archive are: not only to preserve and disseminate but also to become a living platform for the redistribution and communing of artistic materials and knowledge.
TPF&VA builds on multiple, unsystematized, non-hierarchical, dialogical working processes. Spadoni has experimented with ways to work in-between the gaps of existent methods of cataloguing and categorizing, letting the footage dictate the potential coordinates of new multiple paths and journeys. TPF&VA is an open archive, in the sense that it remains open to the possibilities of telling multiple stories, and expand resonances through installations, exhibitions, lectures and workshops. The archive invites the viewers/users into a dialogue and quest to define their own itineraries, enabling infinite ways of recombining the pieces and fragments of an ongoing story.
BE Magazine 29