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Shannon Lecture Series with Janine Marchessault: “The Missing Archive of Expo 67”

December 1, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Location:Multi-Media Lab (room 482), Discovery Centre, MacOdrum Library MacOdrum Library
Key Contact:Paul Litt
Contact Phone:613-520-2828

This lecture will take place in the Multi-Media Lab (room 482), Discovery Centre, MacOdrum Library starting at 2:30PM followed by a reception in the History Lounge (433 Paterson Hall).

Co-sponsored by the School for Studies in Art and Culture


Expo 67 was a spectacular showcase of avant garde audio-visual technology and multi-screen film. One might expect that its cinematic legacy would have been lovingly preserved for posterity. Instead, only some of its films have been properly archived. Many more were misplaced and forgotten, and while some have recently been recovered, others seem to have been lost forever.

This lecture explores the possibility that the Expo zeitgeist was at odds with the archival impulse. Immediacy and simultaneity defined Expo’s mediatic displays, creating an ever-unfolding total environment infused with what has been described as the ‘enduring ephemeral’ (Chun, 2008). Does an event with an ahistorical sensibility somehow pre-empt preservation for posterity?

Recent anarchival artistic projects and films about the utopian Expo moment play on this possibility. Space Fiction & the Archives (film and installation Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen 2012) and By the Time we got to Expo (Philip Hoffman/Eva Kolcze 2015) are works of dynamic excavation that undermine any attempt to stabilize public memory of Expo 67.

About Janine Marchessault

Janine Marchessault profile photoJanine Marchessault is a Professor of Cinema and Media at York University. She is  a founder of the Future Cinema Lab, and the 2014-2016 inaugural Director of Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts Research at York. In 2012,  she was awarded a prestigious Trudeau Fellowship to pursue her curatorial and public art research. She is the author of Ecstatic Worlds: Media, Utopias and Ecologies (MIT 2017); Cosmic Media: Marshall McLuhan (Sage 2005); and (co)editor of numerous collections including 3D Cinema and Beyond (Intellect/ University of Chicago Press 2013);  Reimagining Cinema: Film at Expo 67 (MQUP 2014) and Cartographies of Place: Navigating the Urban (MQUP 2014). A past President of the Film Studies Association of Canada, she has held faculty positions at McGill University, Ryerson University and has taught at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV. Books in preparation include Archival Imaginary: Creative Approaches to Digital Memory; The Oxford Guide to Canadian Cinema; and Process Cinema: HandMade Film in the Digital Age.

Please contact Paul Litt at ideally at least two weeks in advance of this event, and at the very least one week in advance, should you wish to request interpretation services.

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