Call For Participation! XFR Collective at MIX: 29th NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival

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XFR Collective is super excited to be back at MIX this year, and we know there are still more tapes to free!  So come on back, all you lovely queer collectors, media makers, artists, and hoarders, and let us help you preserve your media!

Last year at MIX, XFR Collective digitized more than 25 tapes during the festival. We’re returning to MIX this year to continue this work! Too often, works created by and offering documentation of queer communities get trapped on hard-to-play, degrading, magnetic media in basements, under beds, and (yes) inside closets because the cost to store, preserve, and transfer media is too high. It is vital that independent, queer, low-income, experimental, community based artists and artists groups have the tools and knowledge to preserve their own work. If we don’t take care of our own work, no one else will.

Sign up to participate in the XFR Collective’s Video Transfer Station at MIX NYC 2017. Or just stop by our exhibit! Watch us work, browse our library, or hang out and chat with us about video preservation.

Please read the details below carefully, then fill out this appointment form or send an email to xfrcollective@gmail.com (with “MIX Appointment” in the subject line) to indicate your interest in participating. We’ll write back to arrange an appointment. All transfer appointments will take place at MIX 2017 (1022 Wyckoff Ave, Ridgewood, Queens) February 3-5, 2017.

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The Details:
What is the XFR Collective? XFR Collective is an all-volunteer video archiving and education non-profit that partners with artists, activists, individuals, and groups to lower the barriers to preserving at-risk audiovisual media – especially unseen, unheard, or marginalized works – by providing low-cost digitization services and fostering a community of support for archiving and access through education, research, and cultural engagement.  At its core, the project is designed to support and include people in the salvage, preservation, and circulation of born-analog media created by marginalized artists and organizations. We believe that archiving, preserving, and making accessible community media outside of the mainstream is essential for the creation of a more inclusive understanding of our past and present.

Appointments. Video transfer appointments will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis. All appointments are facilitated by trained preservation technicians and will be used both for the process of digital transfer, and as an opportunity to engage in a dialogue about the content of each video and the question of how to care for digital files. Participants are expected to assist technicians and remain present for the duration of the appointment. Other MIX attendees are also welcome to watch and ask questions while we work.

Formats. All media submitted must be original material generated by the participant. All rights and permissions to material must be attended to by the participant. At MIX 2017, we will only be transferring materials on DVCAM (NTSC and PAL), MiniDV (NTSC and PAL), HDV (NTSC and PAL), and DVCPro (NTSC only).


Two sizes of DVCAM cassettes.  MiniDV is virtually identical to the smaller DVCAM cassette.We will be transferring MiniDV and both sizes of DVCAM!


DVCPro cassette

Process. For each appointment, technicians will advise participants on best practices for preservation and transfer. Appointment times include discussion of content, tape inspection, and the video transfer itself. To determine material for moving image transfer, artists are asked to consider a 2:1 ratio of digitization to assessment time. For example, two hours of video transfer necessitates one hour of preparatory time. Since old tapes can be susceptible to deterioration or mold, participants are advised to select the media you would most like preserved, but also to bring back up material in case your first choice of tape requires more in-depth conservation work than we will be equipped to perform at the festival.

Storage and distribution. All moving image materials that are digitized by XFR Collective will be made publicly available on the Internet Archive (archive.org), a nonprofit institution whose mission includes offering “free and open access to all the world’s knowledge” and providing permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public to cultural heritage collections. Selections from the digitized content posted on the Internet Archive may be informally screened at future XFR Collective events.

All participants will be able to download preservation-grade digital versions of their materials from the Internet Archive. Once we have uploaded content, all participants will receive an email with instructions on how to download.

If you are not comfortable having your MIX transferred material shared publicly, or if you are uncertain as to whether you own the rights to the materials, we welcome you to email us with questions and we will try to work out a partnership outside of MIX based on individual privacy concerns.

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