A film scene showing a character running down a staircase that ascends from Earth to Heaven (A Matter of Life and Death, 1946) is physically and digitally folded in on itself. The figure never reaches his destination, remaining trapped between the folds of the material world and the shadows of the afterlife.
This limbo state reflects the position of audiovisual footage - originally recorded and stored on film, but now rescued from decay by digital transfer. In order to survive, these films become hybrid ghosts of their former selves. Viewing films has always been a form of 'out of body' experience, where the sights and sounds of long gone actors and places are brought back to life. Transferring old movies to immaterial digital formats creates a new layer of remove, with the medium of film itself becoming as ghostly as the worlds it once contained.