Archivist’s Alley Goes to AMIA 2018- Claire Fox: Queer Community, Student-ing, and Navigating the Future

This year’s AMIA conference was wonderful. I personally feel like losing my voice to a whisper meant it was extra successful. I spent the entire time focusing on conversations about how to rearrange our field to genuinely reflect the community that it is made of and how to respect/pay respect to those of us who work tirelessly to make memory institutions less structured towards the elite and privileged. It was terrifically exciting! 
For a small taste, if you haven’t checked out the panel I was lucky enough to moderate, it can be found right here.

Spoiler alert: it’s mid-December & I’m still recovering 😀

One of the things I made sure to do while there is record a few podcast episodes with people live at the conference. So this conversation with Claire Fox is the first of a 3-part-series, you might say.  I am particularly enamored of this ep because we got into the intricacies of labor, queerness, being a student, and aspects of the AMIA Conference. I loved being able to talk about student things. THEY ARE SO IMPORTANT.

As usual, the episode is here and the guest’s links and bio are below.

But I want to include Claire’s statement first. It is 100% why I love doing this podcast and knowing that it has this effect on my colleagues & friends that are my guests makes me ecstatic:

AMIA was a transformative experience for me as a newcomer to the profession, and recording this episode similarly changed something within me. While I’ve talked with my peers and instructors about archival practice, and I’ve spoken about myself personally in different contexts, I don’t think I’d ever had anyone ask me about my experience as an archivist.  Many of the things I said during this episode had only existed in my head before. Articulating them verbally made me instinctively challenge my own ideas. It made me feel a little vulnerable. If you haven’t spoken out loud about your experience as an archivist — preferably with someone recording you — I absolutely recommend it!

Claire Fox is a first-year student in the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) program at NYU. She worked a handful of archival gigs prior to her time at MIAP, but you may know her best from serving you coffee, beer, or pizza in Seattle, Los Angeles, or New York. Lately, she’s been working on web archiving projects at the New Museum, and she looks forward to working on the database for the Queer Cinema Index at IndieCollect in the coming months.

BIO:
Claire Fox is a first-year student in the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) program at NYU. She worked a handful of archival gigs prior to her time at MIAP, but you may know her best from serving you coffee, beer, or pizza in Seattle, Los Angeles, or New York. Lately, she’s been working on web archiving projects at the New Museum, and she looks forward to working on the database for the Queer Cinema Index at IndieCollect in the coming months.

Links:
Twitter: @clairefox (https://twitter.com/clairefox)
Queer Cinema Index: https://indiecollect.org/initiatives_queer_cinema.shtml

Archives & Intersectionality: Linking the Personal to the Professional–Panel from AMIA 2018, Portland, OR

The panel that I presented this year at the annual AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists) Conference in Portland, Or. As a longtime member, I have been trying to get a panel accepted for many years but social justice and moving image archives have not always…been seen as congruent. I have always always always believed that you cannot discuss one without the other. They are the reel to the film. The lens to the projector. The 1 to the 0 (in digital).

This year I was HONORED to have some of the most talented and amazing colleagues and friends I know come to speak with me on the most meaningful and important issues within our community: issues of race, gender, sexuality, personal identity, and power and how these have influenced their work, their lives and their experiences as moving image archivists. Two of my panelists you may have met previously if you are a regular Archivist’s Alley listener: Brendan Lucas is the Outfest Legacy Project Manager and you would have heard him on my Outfest Legacy Project Managers episode!  Erica Lopez is continually referred to on this show due to her amazing work with the Fuentes Collection and discussion on Latinx home movies as we discuss here. Ina Archer is INCREDIBLY BUSY so I haven’t gotten her on the show, but it will happen! But she is an incredible writer, artist and is now a media conservator at The Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC). You can check her out here.

Please forgive me on the video quality. It was recorded off my laptop because my actual camera decided it didn’t want to play nice. But you can hear everything except the young woman’s question at the very end (apologies) who was asking about some international issues and terms like diversity and inclusion and…I don’t think that my response was very good. I spoke with her afterwards and we sorted things out. I feel a little awkward about that! Thanks to Brendan for taking the mic and repeating the other announcement during the short Q&A bit.

I hope you enjoy and if you have any questions or would like to follow up on this, plan a panel with me or discussion on this kind of conversation with me (I already have some in my head) or would like to get in touch with my guests to tell them how amazing they are…feel free to contact me at archivistsalley@gmail.com

Ashley Blewer: Digital Archiving, Open Source Work & Systems of Strength

My friend and colleague Ashley Blewer is one of the most inspirational people I know. She makes hard things seem simple because she enjoys them so much. She has this brilliant gift of being talented at digital preservation and moving image archiving yet not coming off as intimidating or pretentious. She always seems willing to answer questions you might have and goes out of her way not to make you feel stupid for asking.  Ashley has spent countless hours working on projects that provide educational access to folks who might want to learn about moving image archiving but may not have the funds to do so.

I am incredibly proud to know this fabulous human being, count her as one of my friends and get to watch her be the mighty rock star that she is!!!

Please enjoy our conversation and check out the links and the bio just underneath here. Please note that this episode was recorded in advance so forgive date discrepancies

Bio:

Ashley works as at Artefactual Systems as their AV Preservation Specialist, primarily on the Archivematica project. She specializes in time-based media preservation, digital repository management, infrastructure/community building, computer-to-human interpretation, and teaching technical concepts. She is an active contributor to MediaArea’s MediaConch, a open source digital video file conformance checker software project, and Bay Area Video Coalition’s QCTools, an open source digitized video analysis software project. She holds Master of Library and Information Science (Archives) and Bachelor of Arts (Graphic Design) degrees from the University of South Carolina.

The absolutely amazing Beyoncé articles that Ashley wrote that we discussed:

https://bits.ashleyblewer.com/blog/2016/04/29/lemonade/

https://bits.ashleyblewer.com/blog/2016/02/09/format-ion-video-playback-errors-in-beyonces-latest-music-video/

The other OMGWTFBBQ mindblowing piece that she wrote on the recent Netflix doc series, Wild Wild Country:

https://bits.ashleyblewer.com/blog/2018/04/01/wild-wild-country-and-the-magnetic-media-crisis/

MOAR FUN ASHLEY LINKS!!!:

avpres-training resource https://training.ashleyblewer.com/

Episode 1: Siobhan Hagan and MARMIA

Welcome to the first episode of Archivist’s Alley!

Please enjoy this conversation with one of my dearest companions in moving image archiving and preservation. Siobhan Hagan is a SUPERSTAR in the field and a women that I continue to be inspired by.

Her continued work on MARMIA is truly astounding and I hope that you all love listening to her talk about it as much as I enjoyed talking to her about it!

 Fall in love with MARMIA & donate some funds to support this important women-led institution!

Here is MARMIA’s website: https://marmia.org/

Here is MARMIA’s channel on the Internet Archive:  https://archive.org/details/marmia

And click here to donate some monies to this badass place!

 

Here is a little background on Siobhan:

Siobhan was born and raised in Maryland and holds her M.A. in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked in a variety of collecting organizations throughout her career, including the UCLA Library and the National Aquarium. She is currently contracting at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art and is also active in the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA): she is a co-chair of the Regional Audio-Visual Archives Committee and a co-chair of the Local TV Task Force, and was an AMIA Director of the Board from 2015-2017.

Here are a few of the clips that we talked about in the podcast:

Investigative report on blockbusting:

https://archive.org/details/WJZ-QUAD-01

 

One of Oprah’s first acting gigs: https://archive.org/details/WJZ-PAT-001-006