May 20, 2007 § 3 Comments

Stills from Dead Calm, Breaker Morant, Little Fish, Storm Boy and The Proposition
I recently became aware of a project to get Australia’s audio visual heritage online. australianscreen is slated for launch mid this year, the site’s holding page at announces

  • australianscreen is a web-based resource that will offer free access to a vast range of Australian moving image and audio material drawn from the Australian film, television and radio industries.
  • What an amazing resource this will be for film makers, viewers, archivists and learners in all guises.  In this ‘online’ conversational age there is an incredible potential for this project to raise the profile of Australian screen history and culture locally and internationally. Will users of the database be able to contribute tags to the audiovisual material they view/listen to to create a lively folksonomy? It will also be interesting to see if there is any online community building initiative built into the australianscreen vision.


    § 3 Responses to australianscreen

    • Hi Francesca,

      Congrats on landing the job at australianscreen. I’m sure you’ll help us make this an even more amazing resource! We must get together and brainstorm some of those online community building ideas. There’s definitely a desire to do that sort of thing – we just need to figure out the best way to do it.

      I thought I should also let folks know that the beta version of the site is now live at:

    • lolywater says:

      I also think that this resource is so fantastic because it ‘unlocks’ the culutral heritage from our archives (be they commercial or public) and provides a way to provide access for the (majority) of us who are not able to view this material any other way. Actuality footage from the turn of last century, private home movies and found fragments of film are given new life in this online environment.

      There are, of course, debates around the integrity of the object, the shifting or migrating of the format or media on which it was originally presented, and that the experience of the artefact is inevitably altered in the digital domain, but I also think that projects like these push and expand our theories and philosophies about engaging with and taking inspiration from these shimmering projections of life…

      I’m not sure whether you’ve read Kylie Message’s new book “New Museums and the making of culture”… it’s not exactly about e-learning and museum culture, but it does look at the change in focus from ‘museum-lead conversations’ to ‘audience led conversations’ as your categories suggest. You might find it intersting.

    • Francesca says:

      Apologies for taking so long to reply to your posts and yes I’ll blame it on the new job at australianscreen. I didn’t know I’d be working on this project when I wrote the initial ‘australianscreen’ post a month ago and now I not only work on the project, but am also fortunate to have work colleagues who are interested enough to post on this blog – couldn’t have happened without web 2.0 goodness.

      Yes Thomas I’ll look forward to brainstorming some of those community building ideas. It will be fascinating to see how users react to the content on the site and how they will want to use.

      lolywater you make such an important point about the potential to ‘unlock’ our cultural heritage from the vaults. There is certainly potential for this new access to our audio-visual history to redress the imbalance of film and televisual images we receive from other english speaking countries, most notably America and the UK.

      Yes I look forward to seeing what the wider reactions will be to this new digital showcase, I personally think that the biggest threat to the integrity of any object is that it becomes hidden from those who give it meaning – us – and eventually disappears and is forgotten.

      Thanks for the recommendation of ‘New Museums and the making of culture’ I’ll follow that up for sure.

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