SSHRC Partnership Archive/Counter-Archive York Research Chair in Media Arts and Social Engagement York University, Toronto (CA)


Janine Marchessault is a professor in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University and holds a York Research Chair in Media Art and Community Engagement. Her publications include Ecstatic Worlds: Media, Utopias and Ecologies (MIT 2017); The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Cinema (w/ W. Straw Oxford University Press 2019); Process Cinema: Handmade Film in the Digital Age (w/ S. MacKenzie MQUP 2019); Reimagining Cinema: Film at Expo 67 (w/ M. Gagnon MQUP 2014). Her latest project is an expanded cinema festival Outer Worlds—commissioning five IMAX films by artists which premiered at the Cinesphere in 2019 as part of Images Festival ( She is the Director of Archive/Counter-Archive: Activating Canada’s Moving Image Heritage (2018–2024), a research collaboration involving more than 20 community and artist run archives (


Archival Remediations and Activations: From Performance to Living Archives

The talk will engage with the multi-sectoral project “Archive/Counter-Archive” to discuss how archivists and artists are using audio-visual archives as a medium to disrupt traditional forms of history, collection and national narratives. The presentation will engage with new approaches to the preservation of collective memory that are more community based, localized and that reflect a new sense of place, planetary entanglement and archives. The concepts of “liveness,” “activation” and “performativity” are at the centre of these situated articulations of the archive in the 21st century.