Archiving AIDS activist video
Jim Hubbard, experimental filmmaker and co-founder of the MIX – New York Queer Experimental Film Festival – has been involved in AIDS activist video since 1987. Together with James Wentzy he helped to build the AIDS Activist Videotape Collection, housed at the New York Public Library (NYPL). The archival footage from the collection has had an afterlife in various documentaries, after being remediated, among others, in Jim Hubbard’s own United in Anger. A History of ACT UP (U.S.A., 2012). Therefore, activist video can be said to have a wide impact on the cultural memory of the AIDS epidemic. Together with Sarah Schulman, Hubbard is the founder of the ACT UP Oral History Project, now housed at the Harvard University Library, which includes interviews with surviving members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York. In this conversation, he talks about archiving AIDS activist video, about its historical context, intentions, circulations, and legacies.