Harnessing the Arc Hive
University of Canberra
Faculty of Education and Arts
Office of Assoc Dean - Research and Higher Degrees (FEA)/Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
Australian Research Council
ARC Number : LP120100685
This paper addresses the construction of archival collections through the use of public support and volunteer labour. It examines the requirement of a new archive to engage with consumers and participants to achieve its desired outcomes. The Western Australian New Music Archive (WANMA) is a research project involving music advocacy organisation Tura New Music, the State Library of Western Australia, ABC Classic FM and the National Library of Australia. It seeks to collect and make accessible, in digital form, new music associated with Western Australia from 1970 to the present day. WANMA will also create new performance pieces for inclusion within the archive. The collection is currently in its formative stages but builds upon a seeding project which involved the digitisation of Tura’s archives. This made visible the fact that much public experience of new music is as a comparatively ephemeral and experimental art form, and many traces and recollections of iconic and everyday performances need to be collected soon if they are not to be lost entirely. Alongside the technological and copyright challenges facing such an enterprise, WANMA seeks to engage with musicians and music lovers who might have materials of interest for the archive which can be digitised and then returned to the original owners. Such materials include, but are not limited to, recordings. Indeed, they encompass all conceivable peripheral artefacts of new music in Western Australia, from performance programs through to letters describing a concert, through to individuals’ memories. Such a project needs to engage with, and fire the imaginations of, audiences past and present.
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