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Crashing the Archive: A Research-Creation Intervention into the SAW Video Mediatheque

Hogan, Mél (2012) Crashing the Archive: A Research-Creation Intervention into the SAW Video Mediatheque. PhD thesis, Concordia University.


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Video Cache is a research creation intervention emerging from my doctoral research into defunct and crashed online archives, in the context of Canadian video art, which has a rich history of self-preservation and of documenting itself as an art movement. From major art galleries to personal collections; Canada has long privileged video as a tool for creative resistance, expression, and experimentation. Video Cache serves to track the SAW Video Mediatheque (based in Ottawa), from its launch to its crash and back online again, by updating its context and addressing in a practical way what it means to ‘activate’ the online archive. Much of my intervention occurred after the crash and during the two years the site was offline. It involved varied methodological entry points including in depth interviews with SAW Video staff and media archaeology to locate digital traces of the site. Key here is Video Cache’s success in simultaneously documenting the project and intervening to address archival loss: while it was the ‘cache’ that made the Mediatheque’s traces visible and re-visit-able, it was the ‘crash’ that signalled its ongoing archival value.

Video Cache was created in collaboration with Penny McCann, Director of SAW Video in Ottawa, Groupe intervention video (GIV) in Montreal, and Nikki Forrest at

Divisions: Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Authors: Hogan, Mél
Institution: Concordia University
Degree Name: Ph. D.
Program: Communication
Date: 12 April 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s): Soar, Matthew
ID Code: 973890
Deposited On: 20 Jun 2012 14:03
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2012 14:03
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