The website of Dan Erdman
Two new publications of interest to archives people, which I’m posting about here mainly as a reminder to myself to check them out.
First is Porn Archives, which I found in a review by Heather Love in Public Books (a fine publication which prints works of great erudition). I find it interesting that Love makes note of the semantic drift of the word “porn” (“now applied to everything from hard-core horror movies (torture porn) to voyeuristic enjoyment of global catastrophe (disaster porn) to questionable displays of empathy (poverty porn; inspiration porn)”), but after a glance at the book’s page at the Duke Press site, I worry that it’s the other word in the title that we ought to worry about. The book is divided into three-chapter sections, each titled “________ Archives” (“Pedagogical Archives,” “Historical Archives,” “Image Archives,” “Rough Archives” and so forth), but it’s not entirely clear to me – based, mind you, only on their titles – that any of the articles refer to anything that could reasonably be called an archive. Still, there is an appendix called “Clandestine Catalogs: A Bibliography of Porn Research Collections,” and Love does mention “not one but two essays devoted to library science” (as well as a shout-out to the HQ 76 subclass), and I can hardly be said to have an informed opinion after just skimming the table of contents online. I look forward to getting my hands on this.
The first issue of Found Footage Magazine has been released. The general theme of this publication (a “forum for the collection and dissemination of information, critical thinking, and discussion of found footage as an unique and special film-making practice, including all its manifestations: appropriation cinema, compilation film, recycled cinema, collage film, mash-up, archival cinema…”) would be enough to hook me in on its own, as would the contributions of Thomas Elsaesser, Alan Berliner and (kind of) Bill Morrison. The 20-Euro asking price did admittedly put my hair on end, but people apparently pay $12 for an issue of Fangoria these days so what do I know? In any case, I’ll ideally have something actually substantive to say about both of these publications in the coming weeks and months.