The archive of HAMACA was created in 2007 with the incorporation of 200 pieces. In this first compilation pictured the main pieces and artists of the Spanish video history since the 70s. The selection was brought together by a committee of media experts.
Currently, the archive has more than 1000 pieces and is amplified periodically with the incorporation of new pieces by artists of the catalogue, as well as new authors' works that are included through a biannual open call that a committee of experts in video select.
The access to a great part of the HAMACA archive is available online. This permits to create a space for the production of knowledge and to foment the investigation and education processes. The HAMACA archive have become a place of regular consult about video for many users, artists, students, curators and general public, as for education institutions and art centres.
History of the selection committee
1st committee of selection: In 2006, a committee of 8 experts of the field got together to select the authors of the first catalogue. They were: Susana Blas, Eugeni Bonet, Juan Guardiola, Esther Regueira, Acoto Rodríguez, Jorge Luís Marzo, Lola Dopico and Virginia Villaplana. The main criteria of selection were the artist's trajectory, the relevance and projection of their work in the art field. 100 pieces were selected. The guidelines stablished by this first committee were fixed with the intention of introducing those authors and those pieces that had a historical and representative character since the 70s in the scenario of the independent video production.
2nd committee of selection: At the end of 2008 HAMACA faced the need to open a call for a new selection of pieces due to the great number of artists that were excluded in the first selection. This time, the committee of experts was formed by Laura Baigorri, Chus Martínez, Pedro Jiménez and Gabriel Villota. The criteria of selection that was based on a public announcement so to give the opportunity to incipient artists that were currently working with the video format. The committee was formed by agents of different backgrounds so to expand the catalogue with works from emerging disciplines as the vijing, the creative documentary, the music video, etc.
3rd committee of selection: In 2011, we threw a new announcement to amplify the catalogue of HAMACA with new pieces. The expertize committee was formed by Josetxo Cerdán, Nuria Enguita, Antoni Mercader and Aimar Arriola, who met during the month of November to select over 50 videos from the 450 pieces that were submitted. In this new edition, the committee's priority was the interest in the pieces itself, more than the relevance and the trajectory of its authors. Four were the main lines of strength that identified most of the pieces selected: the displacement of the documentary grammar to wider signification contexts; the consideration of the filmic image and the vast area of cinema as archive; the feminist and queer reoccupation in the area of representation; and the reactivation from certain conceptual practices in the art field from the 60s, 70s and 80s in relation to the structures of signification related specially to the language.
4th committee of selection: The fourth committee of selection for HAMACA's catalogue in its 2013 edition was formed by Miguel Fernández Labayen, Beatriz Herráez, Elena Oroz and Carlos Trigueros. 33 videos were chosen from 421 submissions.
Followed by a text written by the four members of the committee, the evaluation of the edition detected the following lines of investigation:
In a first place, an interest in the use of digital tools –Facebook, Google, YouTube, Skype– and the domestic practices as archive material and documentary sources. In this line, some of the pieces explored digital technology's possibilities to realize a deconstruction of some classical pieces in a critical and ironical way, or just to suggest the (almost) unlimited capacity of registration, manipulation and potential of video as a tool in the construction of collective memory.
In a second place, it was noticeable the growing interest in the use of formats as Super 8mm or the analogical video. This phenomenon showed, somehow, the validity of some preterit technological tools to dialogue with the contemporary obsession of progress and novelty.
In the third place, there are various re-examinations of the performative practices through its relations with other disciplines, such as sculpture or photography.
At last, the presence of research projects and audiovisual essays that integrate methodologies from other disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology or history, could be found in the artistic and documentary pieces of this edition.
Next to these formal and thematic preoccupations, ought to be pointed that a great part of pieces that went through this announcement were debuts of young female artists. Although in their pieces, the esthetical inquietude and the formal experimentation are dominant –usually centred in intimate themes and quotidian materials: their own subjectivity and the digital file– they have not been selected considering their practices too ascribed to different academicism. Thus, the selection has tried to find a balance between the incipient quality, the capacity to stablish an intergenerational dialogue, the "consistency" of the pieces and a certain artistic and intellectual matureness.
Other ways of actualization of HAMACA's catalogue
During the last years we have searched for new formulas to introduce pieces in the archive by taking advantage of the programmes that we demanded to curators for the cycle of From Video to the Wide Screens carried out in the Maldà Cinemas. We asked to the curators to suggest names that were not yet in our catalogue, so that after the consent of the artists, their pieces could be incorporated in the archive.
We also included new videos through the project B-Side of Spanish Video-art, proposed by Nenake Aramburu and Carlos T. Mori. This project, subsidized by the AECID, pretended to recover a great amount of Spanish video-art pieces that were ignored due to different reasons (unknown authors that didn't had the facilities to distribute their pieces, forgotten pieces in shells, etc.). This selection went through an itinerary program during 2011. HAMACA and B-Side (Caras B) reached an agreement by which HAMACA included the selected artists in its catalogue in exchange to carry out the management of the itinerancy of the program.