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Sounds from the Shortage Economy: Magnetic Tape Products by AGFA/ORWO

Online International Workshop, 2 October 2020


Magnetic tape technologies belong to the most significant media practices of the twentieth century. However, their role is often only marginally addressed in film and media historiography. The result is an incomplete knowledge of historical, material and conservation issues, which in extreme cases leads to the loss of important image and sound information. On the one hand, this shortcoming concerns the structure of the material itself, the composition of which is often not entirely known, and, on the other hand, the knowledge about actors and artifacts that have shaped the development and distribution of magnetic tapes. Our international workshop «Sounds from the Shortage Economy: Magnetic Tape Products by AGFA/ORWO» addresses these issues and promotes interdisciplinary exchange on current perspectives and problems concerning the technological history, conservation and digitization of magnetic tape materials that were produced by the East German company AGFA and its successor ORWO in Wolfen and Dessau between 1943 and 1994. The aim is to give this marginalized magnetic tape technology the voice it deserves.

The flyer is available here.


Contact: Inga Selck, i.selck@filmmuseum-potsdam.de, 49(0)3312718136
Filmmuseum Potsdam, Institut der Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, Breite Str. 1A, 14467 Potsdam

Sounds from the Shortage Economy: Magnetic Tape Products by AGFA/ORWO

Online International Workshop, 2 October 2020


Magnetic tape technologies belong to the most significant media practices of the twentieth century. However, their role is often only marginally addressed in film and media historiography. The result is an incomplete knowledge of historical, material and conservation issues, which in extreme cases leads to the loss of important image and sound information. On the one hand, this shortcoming concerns the structure of the material itself, the composition of which is often not entirely known, and, on the other hand, the knowledge about actors and artifacts that have shaped the development and distribution of magnetic tapes. Our international workshop «Sounds from the Shortage Economy: Magnetic Tape Products by AGFA/ORWO» addresses these issues and promotes interdisciplinary exchange on current perspectives and problems concerning the technological history, conservation and digitization of magnetic tape materials that were produced by the East German company AGFA and its successor ORWO in Wolfen and Dessau between 1943 and 1994. The aim is to give this marginalized magnetic tape technology the voice it deserves.

The flyer is available here.


Contact: Inga Selck, i.selck@filmmuseum-potsdam.de, 49(0)3312718136
Filmmuseum Potsdam, Institut der Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, Breite Str. 1A, 14467 Potsdam