Reading between the Frames: Creating Digital Memories

By Diane Charleson.

Published by The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores the creation of digital memories and stories emanating from the Australian suburbs of the 1970s as evidenced in still frames that have been created by the author from found 8mm home movies. This research began with the creation of an exhibition entitled, “The 17th Frame: An Australian Suburban Idyll.” This project explored the creation of the 17th frame, a still frame taken from found 8mm home movies that run at sixteen frames per second when played. On this premise, original 8mm film stock was converted to mini DV tape. This tape was then captured in Final Cut pro, which enabled a close frame-by-frame reading of the footage. By still framing chosen images from these home movies, I have imposed an extra gaze and isolated them from their context. I have purposefully looked for candid moments that may reveal traces of life stories left untold during an initial reading. Digital technology has been used to re-use and rework traditional media and in so doing provide a new visual referent for the memories and an alternate means of storytelling. I will argue that this process of creating what I term the “17th Frame” indeed creates the “anti-family photograph.”

Keywords: Memory, Home Movies, Family Photographs, Digital Imaging

The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 922.196KB).

Dr. Diane Charleson

Senior Lecturer, Bachelor of Media Communication, School of Arts and Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Diane Charleson is a senior lecturer in Media Communication at Australian Catholic University, Australia. She has been a filmmaker for over twenty years working in documentary and, more recently, as a video installation artist. Her research interests are practice-led research, memory, identity, and the role of new media in involving audiences in the remembering process.