Docuverse’s Hannah Brasier, Kim Munro and Franziska Weidle all presented at the Visible Evidence conference in Bozeman, Montana on the 14th of August. Hannah and Franziska talked on the same panel on emerging forms of documentary where an interesting discussion followed on how we should describe and think about emerging forms in relation to traditional documentary. Here is a little summary of their panel:
After three intense days of conferencing, Hannah Brasier and Franziska Weidle’s joint panel on “Interactivity and Emerging Documentary Platforms” enjoyed great popularity, counting about 20 people in the audience. The panel’s chair, Heather McIntosh from Minnesota State University, opened the floor by sharing her observations on the physicality of interactivity as one of the distinguishing aspects of i-Docs on iPads. Franziska Weidle followed Heather to demonstrate how skilled practices surrounding new media affordances might lead to a “reschooling of the eye” that challenges other, more established, documentary enskilments and related cognitive processes. Providing insights into the empirical data gathered during her research stay at the non/fictionLab, her talk perfectly set the scene for Hannah Brasier to talk about how she is developing an aesthetics of noticing for making interactive documentaries. Hannah focused on the process of making through noticing, listing, filming, and arranging, to speculate on an interactive documentay practice that attunes to the things of the world in their flowing arrangements. Overall, the “Interactivity and Emerging Documentary Platforms” panel provided a space within the Visible Evidence program to critically discuss digital forms of documentary from theoretical and practice perspectives.
For the discussion that followed the panel presentations, audience members pointed out that while making interactive documentaries is certainly interesting for makers, Jennifer Proctor pointed to Korsakow’s lack of appeal to audiences and its unresolved tension between linear video fragments and the nonlinear environment they are embedded in. Dorit Naaman commented on viewers’ desire for emotional stability and raised the question of how this might translate into multilinear networked environments. Further, there was general discussion about how we should talk about these types of interactive documentaries. While Hannah discussed her interactive documentaries as musical, others from the audience considered the works more live video games. This discussion led Franziska and Hannah to hear new perspectives about their research to incorporate into their PhDs.