This is Film! #2: Bits & Pieces and the VJ

Under the overarching theme of recycling, re-using and remixing archival film fragments, the 6th edition of Eye’s annual public lecture series This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice will showcase a broad range of creatively reused archival footage, varying from the colorization of black-and-white WWI footage, to the use of archival content in compilation and documentary films, VR or VJ performances.
This is Film! #2: Bits & Pieces and the VJ

Each session will cover a different approach to the theme of ‘re-use’ and will feature an introduction by Giovanna Fossati (Chief Curator at Eye and Professor of Film Heritage at the University of Amsterdam), followed by a talk by or interview and Q&A with an international expert and a screening or performance.

The lectures are in English and can be attended as a series or on a one-off basis.

  • This is Film! #2: Bits and Pieces and the VJ: Wednesday, March 25, 3.30pm. Facebook event.
  • Guest: Rossella Catanese (VJ, Adjunct Professor at Sapienza University of Rome)
  • Screening: Live VJ performance featuring the Bits and Pieces Collection. Music by Jan Willem Hagenbeek


In the second session of This is Film!, Italian VJ and Film Scholar Rossella Catanese will perform an audiovisual immersive VJ set, by mixing and manipulating Eye’s unique Bits&Pieces collection. She will be accompanied by electronic musician Jan Willem Hagenbeek.

At the end of the 80’s, the Filmmuseum initiated a practice of archival film re-use by creating compilation reels of film fragments that could not be identified. This practice is still carried out today by the Filmmuseum’s curators and the collected film fragments, that otherwise might have been disregarded, form the Bits & Pieces collection: today containing 58 reels and 647 fragments.

Reuse of the Bits & Pieces Collection

Over the years, the Bits & Pieces collection came to be the source of many new compilations. Artists such as Fiona Tan, Peter Delpeut and Gustav Deutsch drew amply on this collection for their work.

Nowadays, digitization facilitates the use of single B&P fragments, and makes it easier to open the collection up to bigger audiences through several projects. An example of a recent initiative is Jan Bot, a computer programme that creates experimental films by using exclusively fragments from the B&P collection that match current trending topics. The films made by Jan Bot are daily published on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In the past, the B&P collection has been used for projections within museum exhibitions or dance events and, currently, it is utilized to create compilations to be shown on hundreds of “urban screens” located at train stations in the Netherlands.


In conversation with Eye’s Chief Curator Giovanna Fossati, Rossella Catanese will make the audience part of her experiences as a VJ working with found footage material, discussing topics such as access to archival collections, and the unique character of a collection like Bits & Pieces.


Rossella Catanese is the author of the book Futurist Cinema. Studies on Italian Avant-garde Film (2017). She is a Postdoctoral Researcher at IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca in Arts and Life Sciences, Adjunct Professor of Digital Audiovisual Restoration at Sapienza University of Rome and Adjunct Professor of History of Italian Cinema at NYU Florence. She also regularly gives live performances as a VJ.

Monday, March 9th, 2020