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24sepBlog from an intern

Kjetil Sörenssen was in 2009 bijna 4 maanden stagiair bij het GAVA, destijds vanuit de master Preservation & Presentation of the Moving Image aan de UvA.

14 september 2009, 15:56
So it is time to do my first blog of my GAVA internship. First thoughts is that this is a very nice archive with a very good work environment. The building has a nice, spacious architecture which is very nice.

One of my main tasks has been looking through the Vera videotapes, assigning them numbers and writing the information into the MAIS-Flexis database. This task is pretty much a dream job for me, being a music nerd with an affinity for the eighties underground scene. So far, I've seen bits of my favourite bands from the era: The Feelies, Flaming Lips, Yo La Tengo, Ween and others. I also learned that my knowledge of the eighties underground was nowhere near as complete as I thought.

What surprised me with the first tapes, from 1986-1987, was all the non-concert footage I found on them. Many of these were of a radical political nature: house occupations, peace demonstrations and so forth. This was a very interesting find, and it was lucky that they were put on these concert tapes. If not, the GAVA would probably not have found them, and they serve as interesting documents of the radical left during the eighties. These tapes did however present an unexpected challenge for me, as my rudimentary Dutch skills were nowhere near enough to understand what was going on in them. Fortunately, I had the good help of my co-workers here. They could also help with their knowledge of Groningen, both the places and the events shown.

Mais Flexis

Kjetil working on the VERA archives Kjetil working on the VERA archives

My poor Dutch also brings me to my main complaint with the archiving program MAIS-Flexis. The program is a nice database program with one big flaw. The program will often not register what you just wrote, giving you a message "een andere gebruiker heeft dit record gewijzigd".

This is very frustrating, since it happens quite a few times a day. Normally it is no problem, as I write short sentences that are easy to fill in again.

The problem is when I'm writing a long description in Dutch. I would be concentrating hard to find the write words and sentence structure, and would lose all my work in case of an error. This has made me start writing the long descriptions on Word or Wordpad before pasting it into MAIS-Flexis.

Random thoughts about the concerts themselves:
- Vera should have disabled the zoom button on the camera they used. The cameramen seem to think that they will liven up the shot by zooming in and out, but they really just make it unwatchable.

- Everyone I meet in Groningen talk about how legendary the Nirvana 1989 concert was. It is, admittedly, a good concert. However, the crowd is not very enthusiastic, saving their energy for the TAD concert Nirvana was the support act for. From the same year, we have an end of year top 10 concerts compilation video. This was voted by the Vera-goers, and Nirvana was not there at all. Soul Asylum was there, though. Odd, eh?

- I am eternally grateful to all bands that introduce themselves by name at the start of the concert. This makes it much easier for me to identify the right band if there are several bands on the tape.


(an example of the video's in the VERA archives is on GAVA's vimeo)

Geplaatst op 24 september 2012 11:56 | permalink