The first iteration of the project was as a pop-up video library called Miraculous Ribbon. During the 2015 Channels Festival, I occupied a room in Grey Gardens cinema/gallery for a month and took donations from the public of (mainly) ex-rental VHS tapes. People were able to enter data about their tapes into my database, including what I called “affective metadata”- stories or memories they had about the film, where they first rented it, the video shop they bought it from, video shops in general etc.
One major outcome of this residency was a project called Once Were Video Shops – a google map of all the video libraries cited on the stickers of the tapes that had been donated. I cross referenced this map of sites with google street view images and my own documentation of what is now at those locations, revealing the complete erasure in most cases of all evidence that video libraries ever existed.
Since then, I have been documenting remaining video shops sites and interviewing the loose community of people that orbited around them – artists, filmmakers, programmers, film buffs, pop culture nerds, clerks, small business owners. This project I have named Rainbow Video – after the first video shop I was ever a member of, back in the 1980s in Moonee Ponds. A short excerpt of some of these interviews is here.
In 2018 I was awarded an RMIT Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship to undertake this project as a PhD.