This web-page provides essays, lecture transcripts, policy papers and conversations on topics that are central to the work of film museums and archives and to the rapidly changing field of moving image culture in general. These materials document various contributions by Film Museum staff members to ongoing debates: How does a museum address basic questions of Film Curatorship, and how can they be examined more precisely in the context of the digital era?
The mission of a film museum is to preserve and exhibit its collections and the film medium in general while also contributing to research, education and other dissemination activities. These spheres of museum work are being highlighted in different ways by the contributions on this page. What are the basic notions that shape the practice of film presentation in a museum, and what exactly do we exhibit beyond the individual work itself? What do we mean by film preservation and how is it achieved? What is the difference between "restoring" a film and restoring it "to life"? Which areas of research does the Film Museum focus on, in order to help expand the knowledge of film history and the general notion of what film is? What are the specific contributions that museums and archives can offer to the expanding field of film and media education?
The purpose of such questions is not only to help formulate the guidelines for this specific institution, but also to provide a holistic perspective on film as a medium. The texts that are being made available here document ways of thinking about film and the film heritage in the face of radical mutations across the cultural field. We believe that in order to engage more decisively with the political discourses in this field, film museums and archives today are obliged to add such a "reflective" and interventionist layer to their traditional functions.
Film, the Museum and Digital Culture
Alexander Horwath: Dear Tacita