November 15, 2001 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on November 15, 2001.
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"Focus" is what all of us need, now, after 2 months of 2 much news -- so nothing appears, in what follows, about bombs or terror or anthrax or geopolitics or geopoliticians or things "changed utterly" or things "utterly unchanged" -- only the French, and some fascinating projects which they are undertaking in multimedia and the preservation of same, proving that there is still a world out there... virtually, at least...
The INA / Institut National de l'Audiovisuel -- "50 years of television, 60 years of radio: an audiovisual patrimony..."
Now that "content is king", does Walt Disney Inc. own the entire Internet, yet (perhaps shared, but only partially, with "AOLTimeWarner")?... It might be both interesting and useful to look at some alternative ways to approach TV, and radio, and various other forms of the "multimedia" content which the giant global Matrix is being designed to purvey...
And the French approach to this is different, as is their approach to most things: not so different as to be irrelevant to the US and general Anglophone world experience, but different enough to be very interesting --
At the INA, one finds:
"* 50 Years of Television, 60 Years of Radio : an Audiovisual Patrimony
"More than 1.5 million hours of radio and television, 2.5 million documents stored in over 80 kilometers of shelving... the archival collection of the INA constitutes an inexhaustible source of images and sound for audiovisual and multimedia professionals, as well as for researchers, teachers and students. All genres of television and radio are represented, and over one million photographic documents.
"The collections are growing constantly, and are maintained primarily as:
"* The Preservation, Digitization and Restoration of this Patrimony
"To ensure the physical conservation of this patrimony, the INA has launched a vast plan of preservation and digitization, which involves 200,000 hours of television and 300,000 hours of radio. In the collections 60% of the archival media for television and 90% of that for radio are unique and are deteriorating inexorably with the passage of time.
"The increasing demand for good - quality images makes restoration activity increasingly dependent upon the commercialization of documents. In film and video as in sound, in mechanical restoration as in digital, the INA has proven abilities reinforced by its recent associated research, notably that of the Aurora System for real time restoration.
"* Research -- a Laboratory of Audiovisual Digitization
"With applications such as Aurora (automatic video restoration) or Diceman (a contribution to the MPEG-7 standard for the description of audiovisual content), the research direction is oriented resolutely toward work on the impact of digitization on the treatment of audiovisual content (restoration, cryptography) and its description (indexing, metadata management). Research projects currently in progress, developed with national or European partners, concern automatic text extraction, document production, and the online presentation of audiovisual content. This work is complemented by technical and socioeconomic studies of the audiovisual world in its digital context.
"* Programs -- Experimentation with New Media
"The Direction des Programmes always is in search of new talent. It encourages the production of programs for French television, cable and satellite networks, in a constant effort to renew the forms, texts, and techniques used. Through its Studio Hypermédia, it focuses on experimentation with convergence tools and it explores new approaches for the interactive building and broadcasting of television programs and audiovisual archives.
"* Education -- Demystifying the Professions of the Future
"As the leading center of professional education for the audiovisual and multimedia professions, INA Education is an essential actor in the digital revolution, producing nearly 40,000 teaching days per year. From journalism to audiovisual documentation, from multimedia to synthetic imaging, the ten areas of concentration include over 150 cataloged programs. INA Formation also provides 200 continuing education programs, for professionals actively engaged in audiovisual and multimedia work, in France and abroad."
The INA / Institut National de l'Audiovisuel, founded in 1974, is located just east of Paris:
A little history: "10 major dates for INA" --
And people here might be particularly interested in looking through the following among the offerings at the INA:
"The French Inatheque, opened on January 1st 1995, is one of INA's three departments. This section is responsable for the running of legal deposit of radio and television, defined by law on June 20 1992, it regroups all broadcasts of french radio and television programmes"
The INA collections are available for consultation at the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand, at Tolbiac in central Paris:
A Note: a little politics, perhaps, but nothing "geo" --
I wonder what difference "government / public" participation might make, in the study and preservation of multimedia...
In Britain, and in France, and in Canada and in so many other countries besides the US, "government / public" has played such a significantly - different role in developing / promoting / dictating / censoring / archiving / preserving the various "formats" in which our media have presented information to us.
Only last weekend, Jack Valenti and various Hollywood studio luminaries were seen consorting with White House Chief of Staff / major domo Andrew Card, discussing "how Hollywood can help the War on Terrorism" -- nightmarish shades of the 1950s, when Hollywood was torn apart by government pressures in the Red Scares -- although last weekend "content was not on the table", Valenti was assuring everybody...
So, they do these things differently in France. What exactly that difference might be, in the precise areas of multimedia development and promotion etc. -- and particularly in preservation -- might be very interesting to study comparatively, now, in our current age which is so much more dominated by media than the 1950s ever were. The INA might be very interesting, to folks outside France, purely from this point of view. I wonder what is being saved, and why, and for what purposes going forward, in different cases on both sides of the Atlantic -- and in Asia and elsewhere, for that matter?
A few days ago, my wife and I viewed a copy of the original 1967 movie MASH, rented from our local video shop -- to find that its humor and anti - war scatology / escatalogy seemed to have been a little censored, we thought, and diluted by a fade - in at the end to clips of the insipid TV series of the same name...
The commercial folks definitely did a censorship number, on home distribution and airline tapes, of the politically incorrect but effective and very funny Nicholson / Hunt movie, "As Good As It Gets" -- certain offending lines simply erased out...
The agility of the newest digital techniques are a mixed blessing, clearly.
So, who is preserving and making available "the originals" for us? Would "government" do a better job of this -- in the US? in France?
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071 - 5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives may be found at http://infolib.berkeley.edu (search fyifrance), or http://email@example.com/ (BIBLIO-FR archive), or http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L archive) or http://www.fyifrance.com . Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all will be gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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