In this weeks “unlecture” Brian, Adian and Elliot discussed the question: “What kind of genre is an interactive documentary? Is it still a documentary, or would you say that it is a new genre because of the hyper textual interface?”. In my week 6 post I wrote about the interactive documentary without knowing the answer to this question. Adrian described the difference between fiction and documentary as the following; fiction is about a world whereas documentary is about the world. If that’s the case, then the interactive documentary is still a documentary, because it is still about the world even though the audience of the interactive documentary decides the final plot of the movie.
This leads to the interesting thought about the author having any control at all. Brian, Adrian and Elliot did not agree about whether the author has control or not, and the same goes for cultural theorists Harold Lasswell and Stuart Hall. Lasswell compare the society with a biological organism, which in this case means that the author can manipulate his readers the way he wants. Lasswell would therefor argue that the author has complete control of the way his words get interpreted by his audience – communication is transmission – a one way communication where the audience, society is considered a group of people without any individuality at all. In the opposite corner, Hall argues that these people have individual demographics which makes it possible for each of them to decode the authors message differently. In this argument the author will not have the same control over the interpretation.