Mumbai

Shedding light on audiovisual heritage

Preserving memories: Andreas Weisser will discuss the importance of digitising magnetic tapes.

Preserving memories: Andreas Weisser will discuss the importance of digitising magnetic tapes.  

German expert to conduct workshop on preserving magnetic audio-video tapes

For decades, our daily lives were recorded on magnetic tapes, whether it is home videos, weddings, birthday parties or television shows. These tapes, almost obsolete in the digital world today, store volumes of personal and social history, and stand at the danger of being lost forever. Focusing on the preservation of these audio and video tapes, Munich-based conservation expert, Andreas Weisser, will conduct a workshop at Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan on Friday and Saturday.

The workshop will cover the history of audio and video technology (analogue and digital), degradation mechanisms, risk assessment, caretaking of equipment, storage requirements and optimisation of storage facilities, conservation/restoration treatment methodologies and preparation for in-house or external digitalisation projects. “The training is designed for participants with little or basic knowledge in the field of the preservation of audiovisual media,” Mr. Weisser said.

The two-day workshop, organised by Film Heritage Foundation (FHF) in collaboration with the institute, will be free of charge. Describing magnetic tapes as “accessible heritage”, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, director, FHF, said they are organising this workshop for the first time to “shed light on the much-neglected area of our audiovisual heritage”.

According to Mr. Weisser, u-matic, beta, digi-beta tapes, video and audio cassettes, have been neglected in the field of preservation because they were always cheaper in production and didn’t offer the superior recording quality of film. “So, most premium productions were shot on film, and they are now getting the most attention. But I think this will change someday because the daily life worldwide was recorded on magnetic tape,” the 46-year-old said.

Since 2003, Mr. Weisser has been working as a conservator for time-based media and as a preservation manager for audiovisual collections. His work focusses on the support of public and private collections for analogue and digital long-term preservation and storage of contemporary and time-based media art.

“This may be a trend worldwide, people are becoming more aware of the audiovisual heritage, even of their own family film or video heritage. In Germany, we recently launched a program for film preservation but video and audio is still lacking consciousness,” he said. The workshop in Mumbai, thus, aims to inform where to start with conservation and how to make a long-term preservation plan that suits your needs.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 11:41:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/shedding-light-on-audiovisual-heritage/article30898966.ece

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