Axel writes about Almost Architecture, a substantial K-Film about signage and the city (Matt Soar has a research interest as a designer in signage and collects the old building signs of Montréal), noting the importance of use of the soundscape. Sound, in my experience, is one of the things that is often overlooked but makes an enormous difference. Prani looks at Bear 71, a high end interactive documentary that does an intriguing mix of data, location, and ecology. Imogen meanwhile explores two interactive documentaries that aren’t made in Korsakow, seeing what sorts of things are done, being done, and what they’re about and how. Henry watches two student works and is impressed, one is an abstract consideration of collage and time, the other uses a simple, repeatable premise to make an intimate observational work. Natalie has some good comments and observations about another student film -these are great models of what you need to do for the short essay. Axel wonders about themes and consistency in some of the works viewed (good questions), and the importance of the interfaces designed and used.

Symposium 02 Examples

The two excellent examples Seth raised today in the lecture:

MIT’s Moment’s of Innovation, which is about how documentary has always innovated around technology and showcases some recent digital examples.

And then the rather lovely The Johnny Cash Project.

For my money Moments of Innovation is really interesting if you think of it, in itself, as a documentary, rather than something that is just reporting about documentary. And again while you might think The Johnny Cash Project is about participation it is also remix, data visualisation, interactive. Trying to fit it into a primary ‘type’ commits what we call a category error.

On a related note, think about what Seth said about Google, YouTube, and analytics (tracking and analysing all the use data around a video or user). This is an example of YouTube paying attention to what a video does, rather than what it means. In spite of themselves this is a system that sort of ‘gets’ that meaning is secondary to what these things do, and that their data driven approach is not about what these things mean, but, in the small specific language of a network, what they do. Just interesting.