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"Of the 47 minutes of film exposed in 1895, the world's archives presently hold about 42. But of the work from 1896 to about 1915, a tiny fraction remains. In those years the feature film was born, and we have reports of extraordinary experiments with colour, sound and widescreen as well as revered performers and artists captured on film but now lost.

The arrival of the video-portapak in 1968 was as essential a moment of cultural history. The early days of a new medium are always immensely fertile, since no-one knows what they are supposed to do with it, so that pioneers feel free to try everything. Those experiments can be immensely fruitful for new makers" - Sean Cubitt

REWIND is a research project (2004 - ongoing) , that provides a research resource to address the gap in historical knowledge of the evolution of electronic media arts in the UK, by investigating specifically the first two decades of artists’ works in video. There was a danger that many of these works might disappear because of their ephemeral nature and poor technical condition. The project conserves and preserves them, to enable further scholarly activity.

Rewind has remastered and archived over 450 works (single screen and installation) on Digital Betacam and as high quality files on Hard Disc. These new masters have been deposited at the University of Dundee and the Scottish Screen Archive (National Libraries of Scotland). From the masters viewing copies form the basis of the REWIND | Artists’ Video Collection, for curatorial, scholarly and public access at the Visual Research Centre, Dundee Contemporary Arts and Central St Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London.

This website includes a database with detailed information, technical information, ephemera, reviews and critical texts on the artists & works, paper archive, interviews, oral testimony, clips and still images from all the works with searchable index. To enter the DATABASE click on the menu above.

A publication will be produced in 2012 (published for UK by John Libbey Publishing; and for USA by Indiana University Press) , with contributions from Sean Cubitt, Grahame Weinbren, Yvonne Spielmann, Malcolm Dickson, Stephen Partridge, Adam Lockhart, Jackie Hatfield, Emile Shemilt and Mike Leggett, with a Foreword by Brian Winston.

We are also staging screenings and exhibitions at various venues of the REWIND Collection, including re-staged installation works in collaboration with curators and galleries. For information click on EXHIBITIONS above.

Following the successful research and archiving of UK video art through the REWIND research project, a new £209,000 grant from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), will enable the project team to embark upon REWINDItalia. This 28-month project will explore the important history and narratives of video art activity in Italy between 1968 and 1994. More information here

unilogoweb.jpg vrclogoweb.jpg djcadweb.jpg ahrcweb.jpg Our research partners are: