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This essay focuses on the artistic practice of found footage filmmaking—defined as the practice of creating new films with extant material—and the relation of found footage filmmaking to Lucas Hilderbrand’s 2009 concept of “aesthetics of access”. A focus on legal provenance of the source material, as well as techniques of circumvention that are used when obtaining material for compilation, will be used to analyze the aesthetic form of found footage films, both within and outside an institutional archive context. It will conclude that these films as well as the changing practices within which they are produced emphasize the interdependent relationship between institutional context, copyright and film form.



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