An essay come article that I read from at a Spotlight session in 2016 has been published. This was written in what is an usually subjective voice (for the discipline, and much to the alarm of one of the reviewers) and as a hypertext. The hypertext was translated into a multilinear iBook (that’s an oxymoron) so can be read sequentially, for by the colour keyed embedded links. It is about materialist theory, interactive documentary, an interactive documentary called Filming Revolution narrative, and what I might think of the colonialism of story.
From the opening:
I don’t know what this is, which is a strange place from which to begin. This is unsettling, for as an academic I am trained and acculturated to displaying a certainty of manner — a certainty that many of my students and conference colleagues would attest I have down pat.
It begins from Bristol. It begins from Alisa Lebow’s presentation at the 2016 i–Docs conference about her interactive documentary Filming Revolution. It begins from what I was reading during my thirty hours of travel between Melbourne and Bristol. It begins from the question that gnawed and nagged at me after Alisa’s keynote in Bristol. It begins in my body.
Not much of an introduction, is it? This writing reintroduces hypertext as a specific and material way of making and performing knowledge and proposes it as a valuable precursor to interactive documentary and what I am describing as computational nonfiction. What I say here about hypertext, Filming Revolution as an interactive documentary, and story, are a prolegomena toward what computational nonfiction might be as a broader field that might encompass computers, technodigital practice, and networks.
Oh, it was originally written as hypertext, and translating it into something more linear and sequential sees its looping rhythms, redundancies, and recursiveness become clumsy stutterings and repetitions.