Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Filmwissenschaft, Seminar für » Prof. Dr. Barbara Flückiger » Flückiger

Completed research project

Title / Titel Film History Re-mastered.
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Original title / Originaltitel Filmgeschichte re-mastered.
Summary / Zusammenfassung More and more contemporary film production is shifting into the digital domain. While many aspects of this transition have been discussed, the rewriting and transformation of film history has been neglected to a high degree. However, there is rarely a DVD edition of a historic movie without digital re-visiting or re-mastering. Currently, there are digitization and mass digitization projects underway in most film archives around the world.

When the possibilities of the new technology are applied to historic film material, a paradox emerges: archives and distributors alike present their historic footage with the promise that it is a historical record and at the same time re-mastered with the newest technology. Until now, film studies have reacted to this fundamental transition in film history and aesthetics only marginally.

Our research project therefore focuses on this cultural shift which dramatically alters the aesthetics and perception of the medial past. The current research in the field of the digitization of archival film is marked by a disciplinary heterogeneity – ranging from technological approaches based on insights from the natural sciences and computer science to archival studies and restoration ethics. Over the past two years we have investigated these heterogeneous approaches in our application-oriented project AFRESA, funded by the Swiss Confederation’s Innovation Promotion Agency CTI. In the context of this project, we became aware of the importance of developing a comprehensive perspective on the subject encompassing technical, material and aesthetic foundations. Based on this broad epistemological background, we investigate the transition first and foremost from a constructivist perspective which understands historicity not as a factual dimension but as a medially transformed aesthetic category. In a broader methodological context we rely on a pragmatic and semiopragmatic approach as proposed by Roger Odin, Frank Kessler and William Uricchio which combines textual, institutional and perceptual analyses to investigate medial effects on audiences.

As David Rodowick has pointed out in his landmark study "The Virtual Life of Film" (2007), it is especially important, in a century of accelerated technological development in the domain of media, that film studies has established a tradition to integrate technological history, social practices and aesthetic perception. It is this tradition we will rely on and which we seek to develop even further.
Publications / Publikationen Flückiger, Barbara (2012 f.): Timeline of Historical Film Colors. A Comprehensive Database of Color Processes from the mid-19th Century to the 1980s.

Flückiger, Barbara (2012). Material properties of historical film in the digital age. NECSUS European Journal of Media Studies, 1(2):n/a.

Flückiger, Barbara (2012). Analysis of film colors in a digital humanities perspective. Frames, (1):online.

Flückiger, Barbara (2012). Zur Rekonstruktion von Filmfarben im frühen Film. In: Tagung der Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, 5 October 2012 - 2012.

Flückiger, Barbara (2011). Die Vermessung ästhetischer Erscheinungen. Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, 5(2):44-60.

Flückiger, Barbara; Heller, Franziska (2010). Bibliography on the Digitization of Archival Film.

Heller, Franziska; Flückiger, Barbara (2010). Zur Wertigkeit von Filmen. Retrodigitalisierung und Filmwissenschaft. Montage AV, 19(2):138-152.

Heller, Franziska (2011). Rezension zu: Ringler, Mathias J., Die Digitalisierung Hollywoods. Zu Kohärenz von Ökonomie-, Technik- und Ästhetikgeschichte und der Rolle von Industrial Light&Magic. Medienwissenschaft: Rezensionen, Reviews, 2011(4):491-493.

Heller, Franziska (2010). Etwas wird sichtbar. Filmwissenschaftliche Überlegungen zum audiovisuellen Erbgut im Digital Turn. In: Klimczak, P; Grossmann, S. Medien. Texte. Kontexte. Marburg: Schüren Verlag (Februar 2010), 315-325.

Heller, Franziska (2012). Prettier than Ever. Die digitale Re-Konstruktion von Filmgeschichte und ihre Versprechen. In: Segeberg, Harro. Film im Zeitalter Neuer Medien II. Digitalität und Kino. München, Paderborn: Fink Verlag, 253-274.

Heller, Franziska (2012). Ben Hur vs. Star Wars. Technikdiskurse und filmwissenschaftliche Methoden im Zeichen der Digitalisierung am Beispiel der Blue-ray-Disc. Augenblick, (52):67-86.

Keywords / Suchbegriffe , General Information, Title: Film History Re-mastered., Address: Frau Prof. Barbara Flückiger, Förrlibuckstr. 226, CH-8005 Zürich, Project Duration: 01.06.2011 - 31.05.2013, Amount Granted: CHF 225.754,00, Funding Instrument: Project Support: Independent Basic Research, Persons and institutions related to this project, Principal Applicant, Flückiger Barbara, Zürich, » Details, Research Institution, Seminar für Filmwissenschaft Universität Zürich, Zürich, » Details, University, University of Zurich, » Details, Disciplines, Primary Discipline(s), Theater and Cinema, Keywords, Film Perception, Aesthetics, Archival Film, Digital Film, Film History, Media Transition
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Dr. Barbara Flückiger (Project Leader)
Dr. Franziska Heller>
Other links to external web pages Timeline of Historical Film Colors:
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Haghefilm Foundation / Cineco Film
Ulrich Ruedel und Daniela Currò
George Eastman House, Rochester NY
Prof. Dr. Paolo Cherchi Usai
United States
Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches en Histoire et Esthétique du cinéma, CERHEC
Prof. Dr. Sylvie Lindeperg
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jun 2011 to Nov 2013