Over the next 2 years, SITI will catalog and organize the papers, videos, photographs, and ephemera of three decades as an ensemble. Working with archivist Sharon Lehner (BAM) and archive fellow Velani Dibba, we will create a living archive that will exist physically and digitally. In the future, this will be the portal to the SITI’s Digital Archive. For now, it’s a place for us to share findings from the archival process.
“SITI acquired its first Sony Hi-8 camera mainly to archive performances from the back of the theater for re-mounting purposes, as a reference for what we did and to get the shows back in our bodies for tours. While the company taught the summer program in Saratoga, I manned the office during the day, but I didn’t have a project of my own. Once the Hi-8 camera was acquired, I took the next year or so to shoot footage capturing SITI as we were at the time–recording Saratoga training, B-roll from our shows, and shooting as much of the SITI season at the Miller Theatre at Columbia as possible, knowing it was going to be the last time those shows would likely be performed. During the 1998 Saratoga summer program, using the facilities of Skidmore College’s AV studio, I began cutting together footage as a gift for the company. Many hours were spent in the edit bay over the 3 weeks that summer, organizing boxes of video tapes, writing the voice over script for Bondo, and recording the title card sequences from the screen of Leon’s powerbook. All crude by today’s standards, of course, and amateur to be sure, but it does preserve the SITI company of 1997-98 in amber for all to see.”Darron L West