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dr. C.G. (Christian) Olesen

Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Media & Cultuur
Photographer: onbekend

Visiting address
  • Turfdraagsterpad 9
Postal address
  • Postbus 94550
    1090 GN Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile


    Biography and Current Research

    Christian Gosvig Olesen (b. 1985) is a researcher at the University of Amsterdam affiliated with the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA). He holds a PhD degree in Media Studies (cum laude/with distinction) from the University of Amsterdam, an MA degree (cum laude/with distinction) in Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image from the University of Amsterdam, and has studied film history and theory at the universities of Copenhagen and Bologna.

    Currently, Christian Olesen is Postdoctoral Researcher in the project The Sensory Moving Image Archive: Boosting Creative Reuse for Artistic Practice and Research (2017-2019) led by Professor of Film Heritage and Digital Film Culture and Chief Curator at EYE Filmmuseum Giovanna Fossati. In 2017-2018 he was Principal Investigator of the NWO CLARIAH project MIMEHIST: Annotating EYE's Jean Desmet Collection. The project aimed at embedding the Jean Desmet Collection of the EYE Filmmuseum in the Dutch digital national research infrastructure CLARIAH's Mediasuite. In addition, the project developed annotation functionalities for the CLARIAH Mediasuite which allow researchers to link films and related materials from the Desmet Collection. In 2017-2018, he has also been invited as the first Scholar-in-residence at the EYE Filmmuseum in the museum's new residency program.

    PhD Project (2012-2017)

    Christian Olesen's PhD project Film History in the Making: Film Historiography, Digitised Archives and Digital Research Dispositifs (2012-2017), supervised by Professor of Heritage and Digital Culture Julia Noordegraaf, investigated the implications which digitization in film archives bears upon film historical research in primarily academic settings. It addressed the need for understanding the consequences of digitization for film historical methodology to develop a critical framework for evaluating and conceptualizing digital archives-based scholarship. From this point of departure, it produced both a historical account of digital film historical scholarship and suggestions for further developments of digital research methodology, discussing in a historical perspective, how the conception of film archives as a source of film history has developed - from the ”first wave” of scientific film archives founded in the 1910s, filmic appropriation art in the 1970s to scholarly Hyperkino presentations of silent cinema a century later.

    Julia Noordegraaf


    • PhD Media Studies (cum laude/with distinction), Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2017.
    • MA Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image (cum laude/with distinction), Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2012. 
    • BA Film-og Medievidenskab, Københavns Universitet, 2009 (10 months Erasmus exchange at the Università di Bologna, Italy).

    Fields of expertise and interest

    • Film historiography and theory of history
    • Film archiving and digitization
    • Media archaeology
    • Digital Humanities and Digital Heritage
    • Documentary and experimental cinema
    • Sound theory and auditory culture


    • Association of Moving Image Archivists, AMIA
    • Society for Cinema and Media Studies, SCMS
    • European Network for Cinema and Media Studies, NECS
    • The International Society for the Study of Early Cinema - DOMITOR




  • Publications and conference papers



    • C.G. Olesen, "I-Media-Cities, europæisk (film-)historieskrivning og den digitale humaniora", in Kosmorama, No. 272 (2018)
    • P.D. Keidl and C.G. Olesen, “Introduction”, Synoptique, Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018)
    • P.D. Keidl and C.G. Olesen (guest eds.) Synoptique, Vol. 6, No. 1 (2018), special issue “Institutionalizing Moving Image Archival Training: Analyses, Histories, Theories”


    • L.M. Estrada, Hielscher, E., Koolen, M., Olesen, C.G., Noordegraaf, J., & Blom, J, "Film analysis as annotation: Exploring current tools and their affordances", in The moving image, Vol. 17, No. 2 (2017): 40-70.
    • C.G. Olesen, “Towards a ‘Humanistic Cinemetrics?”, in K. Es and M. Schäfer (eds.), The Datafied Society. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017.


    • C.G. Olesen, E. Masson, J. Gorp, G. Fossati & J. Noordegraaf "Data-Driven Research for Film History: Exploring The Jean Desmet Collection" in The Moving Image, Vol. 16, No. 1 (2016) - Forthcoming
    • C.G. Olesen, "Formalising Digital Formalism: An Interview with Adelheid Heftberger and Matthias Zeppelzauer about the Vienna Vertov Project" in Miriam de Rosa and Ludovica Fales (eds.), Shifting Layers. New Perspectives in Media Archaeology Across Digital Media and Audiovisual Arts. Milan: Mimesis International, 2016. - Forthcoming.


    • C.G. Olesen, 'Film History 'in the Making': On Fact Production and Film Historiography in Digital Humanities Laboratories', in Alberto Beltrame, Giuseppe Fidotta and Andrea Mariani (eds.), At the Borders of (Film) History. Temporality, Archaeology, Theories. Udine: Forum Editirice Universitaria Udinese SRL, 2015.


    • C.G. Olesen, 'Panoramic Visions of the Archive in EYE's Panorama: A Case Study in Digital Film Historiography' in Cinema & Cie, Vol. XIV, No. 22/23 (2014)


    • C.G. Olesen, 'Found Footage Photogénie: An Interview with Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi and Mark-Paul Meyer', NECSUS - European Journal of Media Studies, 4 (Autumn 2013).


    Book  reviews


    • C.G. Olesen, 'Jean-Luc Godard. Cinema Historian' in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Volume 34, Issue 4, 2014.
    • C.G. Olesen, 'Behind the Scenes at the BBFC. Film Classification from the Silver Screen to the Digital Age', in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Volume 34, Issue 1, 2014.


    Conference Papers


    • C.G. Olesen, (2018, 21 June), “AI in het digitale archief: wat kunnen we vandaag?: SEMIA”, AVA_Net Symposium, Hilversum.
    • C.G. Olesen (2018, 3 may), “Perspectives on computer-assisted film style analysis in the MIMEHIST and SEMIA projects”, Workshop „Computer-based Approaches for the Analysis of Film Style”, ZeM, Potsdam.
    • C.G. Olesen, (2018, 23 April), “MIMEHIST: Annotating EYE’s Jean Desmet Collection”, Symposium of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), Prague.


    • G. Fossati and C.G. Olesen, “The Sensory Moving Image Archive (SEMIA) Boosting Creative Reuse for Artistic Practice and Research” (2017, 23 November), NWO Smart Culture Conference: Exploring Integrated Arts & Culture Research, Amsterdam.


    • E. Masson, C.G. Olesen, J. van Gorp, G. Fossati and J.J. Noordegraaf (2015, June 22), “Reconstructing Colour Palettes in Early Dutch Film Distribution: The Case of EYE’s Jean Desmet Collection”, What Is Cinema History?”, Glasgow.
    • C.G. Olesen, E. Masson & J. van Gorp (2015, 29 March), “ Chromatic Experience in Early Cinema Distribution as Visualized Through EYE’s Jean Desmet Collection”, The Colour Fantastic - Chromatic Worlds of Silent Cinema, Amsterdam.
    • C.G. Olesen, J. van Gorp (2015, March 27), “Data-driven Film History: a Demonstrator of EYE’s Jean Desmet Collection”, SCMS, Montréal.


    • J. van Gorp, C.G. Olesen, G. Fossati, J.J. Noordegraaf & E. Masson (2014, October 24), “Digital Tools for Archives: Linking EYE's Jean Desmet Collection”, FIAT/IFTA World Conference, Amsterdam.
    • J. van Gorp, C.G.Olesen, G. Fossati & J.J. Noordegraaf (2014, July 8), "Emerging Cinema/Emerging Methods: Developing a Tool for EYE's Jean Desmet Collection", Digital Humanities 2014, Lausanne.
    • C.G. Olesen (2014, June 21), " Dispositifs in Digital Film Historiography". Luxembourg, Luxembourg, " Dispositif: Theory, Methodology, Practice", Université du Luxembourg.
    • C.G. OIesen (2014, April 3) "Film History 'in the Making': On Scholarly Practice and Film Historiography in the Digital Humanities Laboratory". Udine, Italy, XXI FilmForum International Film Studies Conference.
    • C.G.Olesen (2014, March 19) "From Film Historiography to Videography: Film Historical Video Essays as Scholarly Research Practice". Seattle, WA, USA, 55th annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS).


    • C.G. Olesen (2013, March 18). "Digitizing an "Aesthetic of Film History - Philosophy of Film History in EYE's Panorama". Gorizia, Italy, XI MAGIS - Gorizia International Film Studies Spring School, Universita degli studi di Udine.
    • C.G. Olesen (2013, February 23). "Historical Notes on Contemporary Silent Film Music- Cinémix and the Case of Radiomentale". Kiel, Germany, Silent Film Sound - History, Theory & Practice, Christian-Albrächts-Universität zu Kiel.


    • C.G. Olesen (2012, December 2). "The Difference Between Bits and Bits - Film History and Archiving Philosophy in EYE's Digital Panorama". London, UK, Besides the Screen Conference, Goldsmiths College.


    • C.G. Olesen (2011, November 19). "Against the Grain - Teaching AV Preservation Issues through Found Footage Film". Austin, TX, USA, Association of Moving Image Archivists conference (AMIA).


    • C.G. Olesen (2010, August 20). "Que l'embarras du choix? - quelques aspects éthiques de la modernisation de l'accompagnement musical." Zürich, Switzerland, Conference of the Association suisse de conservation et restauration (SKR/SCR).
  • Teaching

    University of Amsterdam

    MA Heritage Studies: Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image

    • MAGIS Spring School (2013/2014)
    • Research Seminar and Thesis (2012/2013, 2013/2014)
    • MA Thesis Supervision: five theses supervised between 2013-2016. Topics: film restoration and archive theory, experimental film preservation and digital video activism.
  • Publications




    • Olesen, C. G. (2015). Film History 'in the Making': On Fact Production and Film Historiography in Digital Humanities Laboratories. In A. Beltrame, G. Fidotta, & A. Mariani (Eds.), At the Borders of (Film) History: Temporality, Archaeology, Theories: XXI Convegno Internazionale di Studi sul Cinema: XXI International Film Studies Conference (pp. 157-166). Udine: Forum. [details]




    • Fossati, G., Masson, E. L., & Olesen, C. G. (2019). The Sensory Moving Image Archive Project. Paper presented at Association of the Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) Conference, Portland, United States.


    • Masson, E. L., Fossati, G., & Olesen, C. G. (2018). Visual Analysis as a Means of Tactical Subversion in the Exploration of Digitized Moving Image Collections. Paper presented at Media tactics and engagements. , Amsterdam, Netherlands.
    • Olesen, C. G., Masson, E. L., & Fossati, G. (2018). Feature Extraction in the Sensory Moving Image Archive (SEMIA) project. Paper presented at Digital Humanities Benelux Conference 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


    • Blom, J., Koolen, M., Melgar Estrada, L., Boot, P., Haentjens Dekker, R., Olesen, C., ... Wegter, R. (2017). A Demonstration of Scholarly Web Annotation Support Using the W3C Annotation Data Model and RDFa. Abstract from Big Video Sprint 2017, Aalborg, Denmark.
    • Noordegraaf, J. J., Woodfin, L., Olesen, C. G., Masson, E. L., Fossati, G., & van Gorp, J. (2017). Mapping Desmet: Testing a New Cinema History Tool on Film Distribution in the Netherlands and Belgium, 1914-1918. Paper presented at HoMER conference Circuits of Cinema: Histories of Movie & Media Distribution. , Toronto, Canada.


    • Olesen, C. G., van Gorp, J., Masson, E. L., Noordegraaf, J. J., & Fossati, G. (2016). A New Cinema History Research Tool: The Case of Mapping Desmet. Paper presented at Creativity & the City, 1600-2000, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


    • Masson, E. L., & Olesen, C. G. (2015). Reconstructing Chromatic Experience in Early Dutch Film Distribution through EYE’s Jean Desmet Collection. Paper presented at The Colour Fantastic: Chromatic Worlds of Silent Cinema conference, EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam, .
    • Masson, E. L., & Olesen, C. G. (2015). Reconstructing Chromatic Experience in Early Dutch Film Distribution: The Case of EYE’s Jean Desmet Collection. Paper presented at What is Cinema History? A HOMER Network Conference, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, .

    Talk / presentation

    • Olesen, C. G. (speaker) (2012). The Difference Between Bits and Bits - Film History and Archiving Philosophy in EYE's Digital Panorama, Besides The Screen, London, UK.


    • Fossati, G. (organiser), Masson, E. (organiser) & Olesen, C. (organiser) (25-2-2019 - 26-2-2019). The Sensory Moving Image Archives Symposium, Amsterdam, Netherlands (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Olesen, C. G. (organiser), Masson, E. (organiser) & Fossati, G. (organiser) (7-2-2018). SEMIA workshop 1, Amsterdam, Netherlands (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
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  • Ancillary activities
    No known ancillary activities