Understanding through Experimentation: Re-enacting a 16mm Home Movie

Activity: Talk or presentation typesConference contribution (without a publication)Academic


This contribution argues for the heuristic value of conducting hands-on experiments and performing historical re-enactments with past media technologies as a way to uncover “hidden realities” in the histories of amateur film. Drawing on experimental media archaeology as methodological approach and a series of historical re-enactments with an original Ciné-Kodak 16mm film camera from ca. 1930, it will be shown how recording one’s family and everyday life memories on 16mm film was not a straightforward process. Rather, it entailed a highly “co-constructive” practice whose implicit and tacit dimensions become explicit in the hands-on approach.

The contribution was part of the seminar "Documentary and the Amateur Media Swarming", organized by Dr. Andrea Mariani, University of Udine.
Period9 Sept 2023
Event titleVisible Evidence XXIX: Documentary Ecologies
Event typeConference
LocationUdine, ItalyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • media swarm
  • amateur media
  • documentary
  • amateur film
  • media history
  • experimental media archaeology
  • 16mm film
  • home movies