REWIND, history, archival & curatorial

Submitting Institution

University of Dundee

Unit of Assessment

Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Studies In Creative Arts and Writing: Film, Television and Digital Media, Visual Arts and Crafts
Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies

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Summary of the impact

Impacts derive from archival research in contemporary art practice, specifically curatorial activities within video & experimental film, and the European avant-garde. The focus is on cultural impact in the UK and internationally including public awareness and engagement and includes:

  • the impact upon curation in the contemporary gallery and museum sector by their use of the REWIND online resources and publishing (books, articles and DVD anthology);
  • partnerships with, and the influencing and enabling of, independent curators in the contemporary gallery and museums sector, leading to public exhibitions;
  • widening audiences through publishing, online resources (including social media) and exhibitions.

Underpinning research

Underpinning research includes the creation and subsequent curatorial development of two archival studies: REWINDArtists' Video in the 1970s & 1980s and REWINDItalia. (P.I. Partridge, 2003 and 2011); and a study of experimental artists' film — Expanded Cinema.
These studies, and their associated archives and assets, were designed as resources for further research (with open public and scholarly access), and were the product of AHRC funded research projects.

Key researchers:
Partridge (Prof); Dr. Hatfield (PDRA & Lecturer 2004-died 2007, P.I. on Expanded Cinema 2007); Dr. Leuzzi (PDRA from 2011); Cubitt (Goldsmith and DJCAD Hon. Prof.); Lockhart (Archivist); Dr D. White (Dundee 2007-9 — then CSM University of the Arts 2009-10)

For both REWIND projects Partridge and team (Cubitt, Hatfield and Leuzzi) investigated the first two decades of British or Italian video art, determining what was produced, the underlying concerns, ideas and motivations of the makers, and how the work was supported and by whom. Interviews collected first person testimony, and were made available online alongside data and ephemera from the period. Representative artworks were collected and conserved using (and developing) digital preservation technologies and techniques for obsolete analogue video formats to recover `lost' works, and made available to curators, the public and scholars. REWIND is now a leader in this field and regularly consulted by peers. Research into the equivalent period in Italy, an important but little known international phenomenon, commenced in 2009 (AHRC funded from 2011). A key objective is for the team to bring the artistic work produced back to the attention of international curation and scholarship and into the canon of knowledge.

From 2005, Hatfield developed a second strand of research on experimental artists' film. Non-linear cinematic languages (emerging from artists' exploration of interactive technologies) continue the historical trajectory of cinema, demanding that the dynamics of narrative and dramaturgy and their position within the avant-garde be re-conceptualised. The subsequent AHRC-funded research project (Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema) established a new theorisation of narrative, based on the analysis of practice; oral testimony; research into narrative theory in media and film; and critical histories of the avant-garde. (Partridge became P.I. on this project in 2007 and then C.I. in 2009, with David Curtis as P.I. at Central St Martins in 2009 in order to better support the PDRA Dr White at the project base in London.)

References to the research

REWIND | British Artists' Video in the 1970s & 1980s, (Edited Book Partridge/Cubitt). 130,000 words, September 2010, John Libbey Publishing. (Partridge REF2).

Expanded Cinema: Art Performance Film. (Edited Book David Curtis and Al Rees). Spring 2011; published by TATE. (Chapter by Partridge REF2).

REWIND + PLAY: An Anthology of Early British Video, (3 x DVD disc box set and booklet); published by LUX. (Partridge REF2).

REWIND on-line database; Established 2006. (RAE 2 2008).

Expanded Cinema Website; Established 2009.


Prof Partridge P.I., C.I. Prof Prophet). Rewind | Artists' Video in the 1970s & 1980s. AHRC Research Award 2003-7, £433,350. (AHRC Reference: 17369)

Dr Hatfield P.I. Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema. AHRC Research Award 2007-9, £192,594. (AHRC Reference: AH/E509207/1)

Prof Partridge. AHRC Research Leave Award 2007. To complete REWIND publication, £110,000. (AHRC Reference: AH/F012918/1)

Partridge P.I., Dr Notaro C.I. Rewind Italia, Video art in Italy 1968-1994. AHRC Research Award 2011-13, £216,734. (AHRC Reference: AH/I001107/1).

Prof Partridge. Royal Society of Edinburgh, Caledonian Research Foundation, European Visiting Research Fellowship, 2012, £2000.
(Total £954,678)

In 2005, a Rewind video lab was also established for conservation of video materials with £100,000 allocated from SRIF2 funds.

Details of the impact

The REWIND databases ( & are now established as a significant resource for curators, artists, researchers, students, and teachers. Interest and enquiries are regularly received from scholars and students researching the period and the work from all over the world; from journals and publications commissioning articles; and from curators planning exhibitions and screenings (e.g. 26 curatorial enquiries from 8 countries 2012-13). The University of Dundee IT Services Access Report run on 13th October 2013 [1] revealed that since 1st January 2008, the site(s) had received >1.2M hits with 43,875 downloads of individual files (the video interviews and PDF files). This is the most significant figure as casual visitors do not download 1-3 hour interview files or their transcriptions. Around 35% of the requests were from UK domains, and 10% from .com domains. The geographic spread is extensive, with visits and file requests from every continent and 93 countries. The Rewind collection numbers 450 works with 150 installations documented, and has been consulted by curators who have used the archive and collection for their own exhibitions [2,3,4,5,6] and has resulted in the restoration of many artists and their works to the international canon. A REWIND Facebook Page was established in 2011 for up-to-the minute news and associated events
( and is followed by a community of 500-2000 people per week. Source: Facebook Insights October 2013.

David Hall's re-mastered and developed "7 TV pieces" undertaken by DJCAD archivist Adam Lockhart, was purchased by Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid as part of a new collection of seminal works by Viola, Paik et al., and in 2012 this was shown as part of Hall's solo exhibition End Piece, at Ambika P3 London; Kevin Atherton's re-mastered "In 2 Minds" video-work, (also undertaken by Lockhart) resulted in invitations to new presentations at TATE Britain, Ireland and Europe and considerable new curatorial interest in this artist; in 2011 REWINDItalia recovered and re-mastered the long-lost video works of Luca Patella, which immediately gained attention and screenings across Italy, including MACRO, Roma (2012 and 2013) and the Venice Bienalle (2012). Street Level Gallery Glasgow curated a one-man show on John `Hoppy' Hopkins directly as a result of the REWIND research, one of the most popular shows the Gallery has undertaken according to the Director, restoring this important 1960s photographer, activist and artist to attention. [3]

The expertise, both curatorial and technical, gained through the project has allowed the team to provide archival and practical advice and assistance to other institutions/galleries such as Glasgow School of Art on the `Third Eye Centre Archive' 2012; Raven Row Gallery/Flat Time House, London 2011 on the `APG Documentation Archive'; and Ambika P3, for David Hall's `End Piece' exhibition, 2012.

The impact of REWIND has also been sustained through externally curated exhibitions including:

Artists' Video in the 70s & 80s, doggerfisher gallery, 11 Gayfield Sq, Edinburgh, EH1 3NT, 30th September - 25th October 2008. Curated by Susanna Beaumont, Charlotte Jones, Rebecca Milling. This privately owned independent gallery took the unusual step of mounting its own mini retrospective from the REWIND collection. [7]

Running Time — Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Dean Gallery, 17th October 2009 - 21st November 2009. A major survey of Scottish Film and video art over the past century, inspired by the REWIND project. Partridge and team acted as advisors to the Curators (Simon Groom and Lauren Rigby) for the exhibition as a whole and 12 works were selected from the Rewind collection. [4]

Art Now Lightbox: Rewind and Play, Tate Britain, 8 May - 28 June 2010. Selection of eight works drawn from the Rewind collection by Curator Stuart Comer. [8]

David Hall's End Piece, Ambika P3, London, March-April 2012, curated by Michael Maziere featured 3 works from the collection and a new commission based on a 1971 work 101 TV sets celebrating the switch-off of the analogue broadcast signal in London to wide acclaim by the public and press. This was a major solo exhibition by David Hall, the influential pioneer of video art, featuring a monumental new commission '1001 TV Sets (End Piece)' 1972-2012, comprising 1,001 cathode ray tube TV sets, of all ages and conditions, which filled the massive Ambika P3 subterranean space alongside the restaging of two seminal early works. The exhibition vividly heralded the end of analogue TV in the UK as London finally switched to digital on 18th April 2012. Partridge advised on the curation and Lockhart was the technical director for the install. [9]

Lost & Found- Street Level Gallery in Glasgow, 17th April - 30th May 2010, a major exhibition curated by Malcolm Dickson who included a selection of key works all of which involved restaging or reconfiguring of the original installations. The exhibition was part of Glasgow International 2010 and programmed in both gallery spaces within the Trongate 103. [10]

Scratch Video, Street Level 2009 and Dundee Contemporary Arts, Cinema 2, Tuesday 1st April 2008. A screening of a series of videos from the 'Scratch Video' genre that was prevalent in the 1980s and has generally been forgotten about in contemporary culture. This led to a week-long exhibition at the Street Level Gallery in 2009. [3]. This genre was the first to use samples of video and mix them with sampled music and sound, leading into the dance music generation of the early 1990s. Artists featured: George Barber/Kim Flitcroft & Sandra Goldbacher/Jeffery Hinton/The Duvet Brothers/John Scarlett-Davis/John Maybury/Gorilla Tapes/Akiko Hada & Holger Hiller/Chris Meigh-Andrews/Nick Cope. Followed by a restaging of the Duvet Brothers Multi-Screen piece, as a Live Performance in November 2010 at the Visual Research Centre, DJCAD. This has had an impact on art culture in the UK with the nomination of Elizabeth Price for the 2012 Turner Prize, George Barber interview in Frieze Magazine (2011), and the resurgence of `Scratch' video in general.

The Rewind Archive, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, 5th August - 20th October 2009, during the Edinburgh Festival.

Rewind and Books, DCA, 24th November - 1st December 2012. Curated by Graham Domke.

REWIND | videoarte prima dal Regno Unito, DOCVA Milan, Italy, 6th November - 18th December, 2012. Curated by Chiara Agnello, this was the first show of early British Video since the mid 1990s.


Expanded Cinema: Art, Performance, Film, has been nominated as a highly recommended moving image book by the judges of the Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards displayed at Somerset House for the World Photography Festival and Exhibition from 27th April to 20th May 2012. Prof Marco Gazzano of Roma Tre — Italy's leading researcher in media art, included the 58-page history and chronology of Italian video art, researched and written by REWIND PDRA Laura Leuzzi, in his seminal book Kinema. Il cinema sulle tracce del cinema. Dal film alle arti elettroniche, andata e ritorno, (2012).

TATE modern organised a book launch for the REWIND publication in September 2012 in recognition of the significance of the research contained in the book.

Sources to corroborate the impact

  1. REWIND website University of Dundee IT Services: Access Reports (Program started at Fri-18-Oct-2013 14:08. Analysed requests from Tue-01-Jan-2008 00:01 to Mon-30-Sep-2013 23:59 (2100.00 days).
    Average successful requests per day: 829
    Successful requests for pages: 1,218,106
    Average successful requests for pages per day: 580
    Distinct files requested: 43,875
    Data transferred: 915.85 gigabytes
    Distinct hosts served: 84,700
    35% of requests from UK domains, 10% from .com domains.
    Expanded Cinema Website
    Analysed requests from Fri-27-Feb-2009 12:24 to Mon-30-Sep-2013 23:59 (1676.48 days).
    Successful requests: 93,889 Average successful requests per day: 56
    Successful requests for pages: 66,693 Distinct hosts served: 14,703
  2. Letter of corroboration from the Director, STILLS, Edinburgh.
  3. Letter of corroboration from the Director, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow.
  4. Letter of corroboration from the Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
  5. Letter of corroboration from the Exhibitions Curator, Dundee Contemporary Arts.
  6. Letter of corroboration from the Editor of the Millenium Film Journal, New York.
  7. Artists' Video in the 70s & 80s, doggerfisher gallery, 30th September - 25th October 2008.
  8. Art Now Lightbox: Rewind and Play, Tate Britain, 8th May - 28th June 2010.
  9. David Hall End Piece, Ambika P3, March-April 2012. P3-London-review.html
  10. Lost & Found - Street Level Gallery in Glasgow, 17th April - 30th May 2010.