The Role of the Archive within Contemporary Artists' Film and Video

Ghosting publication


Published in 2005 Ghosting: The Role of the Archive within Contemporary Artists’ Film and Video developed in response to the growth of artists’ interest in archives.

The publication explored the ways in which the archive itself, or archival or found materials, have been central to the work of a number of artists whose practice deals with issues of history, identity or memory. Picture This commissioned essays and researched case studies on individual works drawing together a range of voices to reflect upon the role of the archive to contemporary film and video practice. Ghosting contained essays by Eddie Chambers, Amna Malik, Uriel Orlow, Lucy Reynolds and Erika Tan, and illustrated case studies on works of The Atlas Group, Ansuman Biswas, Matthew Buckingham, Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska, Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, Douglas Gordon, Johan Grimonprez, Susan Hiller, Patrick Keiller, Marcel Odenbach, Harold Offeh, Uriel Orlow and Ruth Maclennan, The Otolith Group, Erika Tan, Fiona Tan and Mark Wallinger.

The term ‘Ghosting' exists as both a metaphor and a reference to technical terminology. The title alludes to the idea of an apparition, of articulating an authorial position in re-imagining or re-awakening ghosts of the past. In addition Ghosting is a term used to describe the appearance of an overlapping secondary image on a television or a display screen but also refers to the ‘ghost of acidification', the impact that the ravages of time has on nitrate film.

The Ghosting initiative took place over a period of around three years during which substantial research, training, commissioning, debate and exhibition activity has taken place.




Related Items:

Erika Tan

Erika Tan was commissioned by Picture This to respond to the archives at the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol.


This essay by Jane Connarty formed the introduction to Ghosting: The Role of the Archive within Contemporary Artists' Film and Video.

2003 - 2006

Ghosting developed in response to the growth of contemporary artists’ interest in archives.

Harold Offeh

Harold Offeh has worked with Picture This to develop new works, devise programmes and to select Small Wonders artists.

Ansuman Biswas

While working in a number of conventional genres within visual art, music, and theatre, Ansuman Biswas is particularly interested in