I’ve been thinking about the way film as a medium is traditionally preserved and archived compared to folk music.
With film, through the proper care and preservation in the right conditions, the physical images can remain intact for many years. The ideas held within those images can be copied in high fidelity to newer mediums for exhibition. When a film is shown it may acquire tiny scratches but this is a slow deterioration. Folk music on the other hand traditionally avoids the physical medium, and is preserved through the sharing of the song. Each sharing brings with it a re-interpretation of the words and the music, and so the song changes over time.
If we have a recorded folk song, then we say it is a recording of the song and not the song itself, as we accept that the song exists between artists and mediums. Film is much more concrete. The film and it’s ideas are tied to its medium, to it’s tiny scratches.
However, the changes in production and distribution of amateur film and video to digital now mean that film / video is a lot more fluid – more available for re-interpretation and re-distribution, both in high and lo fidelity. I’m not sure it is even film or video anymore. It doesn’t feel fixed.
It is more like a stream, a grid of pixels. It is more like maths. Increasingly the only reason to put a video onto tape or some other physical medium (eg dvd disc) is back it up, and even this feels temporary.