Manual for Handling Moving Image formulates a set of principles for the gallery to follow when collaborating with artists and handling audiovisual works. The processes of archiving, production, and distribution of audiovisual works in the gallery environment are often accompanied by a number of uncertainties and ambiguities. The creation of this manual was instigated by a need to clarify the terms of collaboration between etc. gallery and artists working with moving image.
The manual was created with regard to a practice of approaching art works which can be described using the term “commons”. Upon publication of an art work whose production or presentation was financially supported by public funding, the results of artistic activity become universally shared property which can be shared and managed further within communities and in the public interest. Even within such a process, artists can be compensated fairly for their work.
The manual is formulated with a knowledge of the related documents and sets of rules of which etc. gallery is a signatory, namely the Codex of the Feminist Art Institution and the Manual for Cultural Institutions During Times of Climate Change.
The creation of the manual is linked to a programming block, Restless Image II: Limits of Motion, which Matěj Strnad, Anna Remešová, and Kryštof Pešek prepared for etc. gallery. Within this programme, a media library was established in the gallery and two public debates were organised on selected topics from the manual. The participants in these discussions were Tomáš Hlaváček, Alžběta Bačíková, Lucie Rosenfeldová, Jiří Žák, Vjera Borozan, František Zachoval, Sylva Poláková, Ondřej Chrobák, Michal Novotný, and Jitka Hlaváčková. Further participants in the creation of the manual were Kryštof Pešek, Markéta Jonášová, Hana Janečková, Lenka Střeláková, Matěj Strnad, and Anna Remešová. Part of the Restless Image II: Limits of Motion programming block was the establishment of a media library whose source code is available in our repository, licensed as GPL 3.0 free software: https://github.com/K0F/etcetera.
The gallery supports the creation of new works through exhibitions, screenings, or residencies. It does not take on a producer’s role, i.e. investment and, by extension, commercial participation. Before the beginning of the collaboration, the gallery will agree to terms with the artists in the areas listed below. The preferred approach (suggested as a new standard) from the gallery’s side is presented in the second part of the manual. By putting the conditions down in writing, the gallery aims to ensure mutual fairness in negotiations.
Areas which should form part of the agreement between the institutions and the artists:
The gallery aims for the broadest possible availability of moving image art, as well as fairness and sustainability in related procedures and practices.
Activities in the area of moving image arise from the programme and current exhibition concept of the gallery. They are not taken to have a purpose in themselves nor to be media-specific. In addition to the works themselves, the gallery also attends to their creation and presentation.
Authorship: together with the artists, the gallery adequately takes into consideration any potential co-authors, including third-party rights and any other audiovisual works used.
Adequate financial compensation: the artists are due a fee for any exhibiting/presentation of the work. The gallery favours an economic model built on distribution and presentation, as opposed to a limited edition model, which is built on the commodification of art works. When negotiating fees, the gallery aims to financially compensate the artists equally regardless of their origin or status.
The work’s inclusion in the media library: the gallery presents works in its media library, established for reference purposes. The gallery does so in the interest of the broadest possible availability of moving image art and with the conviction that the selected method of dissemination and distribution does not lead to a devaluation of the published works. Access to the media library is free after prior arrangement. The gallery aims to make available online all the works on whose creation it participated.
The current version of the offline media library (i.e. the version in use at etc. gallery since May 2019) is published under the free software GPL 3.0 license. The software is independent of the presented works and is thus free to share as such, as well as to recycle for further use in the repository: https://github.com/K0F/etcetera
Options for further presentation of the work by the gallery: the gallery attempts to ensure the possibility of further exhibition or screenings of the work with reference to the required and preferred possibilities for its presentation. Before repeated exhibition or screenings, the gallery will contact the artist.
Options for publishing documentation: the gallery reserves the right to make and distribute audiovisual documentation of the installation and presentation of the exhibited or screened works.
Required and preferred modes of presentation: the gallery takes into account the conceptual and technical parameters for the presentation of audiovisual works, such as projection formats, methods of presentation (screening or screen), the possibilities of inclusion in a screening programme, playback of the audio component, and the like.
Due process in the case of third party interest: the gallery mediates contact with the artist, whose agreement and proper settlement are indispensable in order for the work to be loaned. The gallery also proceeds in this manner in the case of works on whose production it did not participate (financially or otherwise).
Long-term storage of the work: the gallery does not feel capable of ensuring long-term storage for the works which it has in its administration. However, it aims to make available particularly those works on the production of which it participated, and for which it thus bears special responsibility. It also continually advocates for systematic solutions in preservation of audiovisual works, which it sees as primarily appertaining to state and public institutions of a museum nature.