Jaywalking Sydney was a Research Fellowship undertaken through the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) Centre for Scholarly and Archival Research in February-March of 2007.
This was an exploratory exercise to identify how archival recordings about specific Sydney locations could be made available in-situ using mobile devices (ipods, mobile phones etc).
The essential idea was to test how use of audiovisual archives in this way could offer the opportunity to experience decisive and transformative moments in an areaâ??s development over time, to experience what happened ‘right here’. More broadly the research would establish new ways to explore and experience AustraliaÃs audiovisual archives by new and existing audiences.
Outcomes included a soundwalk dealing with Victoria St Potts Pt, a Google Map featuring extensive audio-visual archives of Sydney’s film history and an essay called Jaywalking Sydney. More details can be found here.
Research for the Fellowship was framed by a particular focus on Sydney’s urban development, on stories and features about changes to the built environment itself. With this in mind, research was focused on the following questions:
- What exists? What kinds of archival material is available that relates to specific locations around Sydney? What kinds of sound recordings are held by the NFSA that contain ambient archival recordings of key locations? Here I was testing feasibility of actually embedding ambient archival audio into a present environment, starting by locating what actually exists of this nature.
- What motivated these original recordings? Why have sites and sounds been documented, and what motivates their preservation by the NFSA? How in particular does the NFSA identify audio recordings of significance, and are there different motivations at work to its collection and curation of arhival video?
- How can existing archival recordings be made available on location? What technologies are available, what platforms? What are the opportunities and challenges of working in this way?