Media Archiving Workshop: Migration and Preservation from Analog to Digital

Taught by:
E.S.P. TV Athena Christa Holbrook Kit Fitzgerald Liz Flyntz
Saturday, Oct 08, 2016
Noon - 5:00pm

Learn how to transfer media from analog to digital formats in this workshop, presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Present is the Form of All Life: The Time Capsules of Ant Farm and LST. Following an introductory discussion between media preservation archivists about avoiding archival obsolescence, a hands-on transfer station will be setup and supervised where participants can learn how to digitally transfer material from a range of analog media formats.

Participants will be asked to outline the type, format, and duration of the media that they hope to transfer, and will be required to bring their own USB hard drive to store their updated files. They will leave with a hand printed manual for reference to transfer their own material.

Participants can bring tape-based video formats such as:
(S)/ VHS
Betacam SP
Mini DV

And analog audio formats such as:
¼” reel to reel
Cassette tapes

This workshop will be facilitated by E.S.P. TV, a project directed and operated by Victoria Keddie and Scott Kiernan. They will be joined by Athena Christa Holbrook, Collection Specialist in Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art, artist Kit Fitzgerald, and curator Liz Flyntz to facilitate a day of media rescue!


E.S.P. TV hybridizes technologies old and new, contemporary and obsolete, to realize the live TV studio as a site for performance-based works and utilizes a mobile TV studio to explore transmission, analog and digital media, and broadcast. Through an ongoing series of live television taping events, they place the control room of the TV studio at center stage, turning the means of production into a vehicle for performance. They investigate the language of television and have built a strong network through artist collaborations. E.S.P. TV has worked with a wide variety of venues and institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY), Spectacle Theater (Brooklyn), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), the Museum of Human Achievement (Austin), S1 (Portland, OR), Nightingale Cinema (Chicago), Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, General Public (Berlin), STORE (Dresden), Studio XX (Montreal), Kling and Bang (Reykjavik), and Pallas Projects (Dublin).

Athena Christa Holbrook is an audio-visual archivist dedicated to the history, preservation, and presentation of time-based media art. She is a Collection Specialist in the Department of Media and Performance Art at the Museum of Modern Art. She has extensive experience working for artists, private art collections, and major arts institutions. She specializes in the preservation and collection management of film, audio, analog and born-digital video, software-based artwork, and performance.

Combining what she terms the “cool, electronic art of video and the warmer, naturalist arts of painting and music,” Kit Fitzgerald creates gestural works that suggest vibrant moving canvases. Working with the Fairlight Computer Video Instrument (CVI), Fitzgerald generates and orchestrates imagery in real time, creating vivid compositions of color, form, light, time, and sound that unfold by the artist’s hand. Since 1985, she has applied this technique of improvisational “video painting” to live music/video performances with musicians, including Peter Gordon, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Max Roach.

Fitzgerald is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS) Program. She was artist-in-residence at the Television Laboratory at WNET/Thirteen from 1977 to 1982, and has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1980. She was a 1989 Fellow of the American Film Institute Directing Workshop for Women. Fitzgerald’s work has been broadcast around the world, and exhibited at festivals and institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Gallery Watari, Tokyo; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Bonn Videonale; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. She lives in New York.

Liz Flyntz is a curator and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Focused on media and systems-based art, she has organized exhibitions, screenings, and symposia around the US and in Germany.

She is co-curator of the Pioneer Works exhibition,The Present is the Form of All Life: The Time Capsules of Ant Farm and LST.  The exhibition explores the time capsule projects of seminal media art and architecture group Ant Farm and their contemporary successors, LST. She co-edited the publication of the same name, available through DAP.

In 2014 she first presented the exhibition SEND BLANK TAPE: Radical Software Magazine and Early Video Distribution Networks as an installation of early video at Pioneer Works.

Her writings on technology and art, media art history, and interviews with contemporary media artists have been published by Afterimage, The Creators Project, and Intercourse. She has a BA from Antioch College, an MFA in Media Study from SUNY Buffalo, and studied Media Art and Culture at the Bauhaus University.