I work as a Senior Lecturer in Screen Media at University of Bristol and am interested in moving images, urban screens, materiality and the built environment and the ways in which video archives intersect with physical and digital communities of practice. I tend to focus on the ways in which space and time are produced within the frame of the screen but also the ways in which screens themselves produce new landscapes, architectures, and archaeologies. My work gathers around 5 themes: how film and video (broadly defined) ‘perform’ place and material culture; questions of audience and documentary film & television; practice-based work that seeks to evoke and respond to archaeological & anthropological themes to trouble a common-sense transparency of the documentary mode; collaborative and participatory work in communities around video, film archives and the power of place; artists’ film and video that responds to and enacts archaeological questions of artefact, trace, and assemblage. In short, I look at how films about places and things are part of what constitute how those places and things come to be.
Currently, I am looking at the ways in which material culture is represented on screens and the ways in which screens ‘perform’ materiality, in the context of the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympic Games. This research investigates screen media practices that enact the histories, heritage and cultures of the Olympic hosts. How do Olympic cities project their pasts into the future via ubiquitous screen technologies? The relationship between the modern day Olympic Games and the moving image is under-explored and yet is central to understanding the multiscalar and often contradictory enactments of local specificities and global flows that the Games manifest. Beyond representations of heritage, however, how do these media themselves begin to enter the archaeological record? My work explores how an archaeological approach to assemblages of screens that present heritage narratives might contribute insights into Olympic material-discursive practices. How do these mega-events organise spatial relations through temporary assemblages of screens and other bodies? How do narratives, aesthetics and the performative materialities of screen technologies interrelate? I suggest that an archaeological account of the screens that perform the Olympic event – an archaeology on as well as of screen – opens up critical spaces that complement and extend important human-centred debates about what happens when the Olympics come to town.
Olympic City Screens video group: https://vimeo.com/groups/153414.
Olympic City Screens photo group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/olympiccityscreens/.
Limited selection of completed works and work-in-progress: https://vimeo.com/album/1712151.
Twitter: @AAPiccini / @OlympicCityScre