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Interactive Documentary Blog

My new chapter 6 is now online…

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My second in depth case study of interactive documentary is now online: it is all about Rider Spoke (a locative experience by Blast Theory, UK) -which I see as an example of Experiential documentary. If you have already read my other chapters you will know that it follows a case study of Hypertext documentary – the [LoveStoryProject] by Florian Thalhofer. Now… I think those two chapters are interesting if read together (but unfortunately for you they need the theoretical framing of Chapter 4 to make some sense!).  [Go to me & my PhD section, scroll down and you will find all the PDFs of the chapters].

Basically I claim that the interactive documentary should be seen as a relational object, and therefore it needs a new metodology of analysis that is not film related. In my chapter 4 I coin the term Live Documentary explaining that  the interactive nature of idocs gives them carachteristics and behaviours that are not graspable though film theory. I see in idocs levels of autopoietic behaviours (Maturana and Varela) that puts them in-relation with their user and their environment, and that changes both. I claim that assemblages theory (Deleuze, Guattari, Latour, DeLanda and others) can be useful to see idocs as layers of interconnected elements. Finally I establish four questions that I then use in my case studies to unfold both their autopoietic and assemblage nature.

Ok… this is a bit abstract and concise… but if you read chapter 4 it will hopefully be clearer…

If you do ever end up reading those chapters I would be very grateful if you could send me some feed-back on them. As you know all the material that is on my website is work on progress and it will need several re-iterations before finding its final PhD shape… I am happy to open up my research, and my thoughts, if this helps to start an interactive process of dialogue… if it stays only a one way process I think I would feel a bit cheated…

Also… feel free to use, but do not forget to quote!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2011


  1. On June 7th, 2011 at 22:14 Carolyn Steele wrote:

    Hi Sandra – I met you at i-Docs. I’m the PhD candidate from York University focus on multimodal databases. Since i-Docs, I have decided to focus my study on the rise of interactivity at the NFB. I’d be very interested in responding to some of your work in my own, but I’m not sure how to do this since your work is not yet published and may well, as you point out, change in form or content before you defend. Have you any thoughts on the academic referencing of potentially time-sensitive online material?
    BTW – this site is a tremendous resource in the field of interactive documentary. It fosters a shared point of reference for this emerging field of theory and practice – thank you!!

  2. On June 16th, 2011 at 11:27 Sandra wrote:

    Hi Carolyne,
    yes, of course I remember you!!! And thank you for your comment!!
    I would be delighted if the conversation could start rolling and if you could reply to some of my writing! I think the way to do it is to quote my writing as you would do for a website. You have my name and the title of the chapter. You do not have a date of publishing, but for that you can just use the “accessed date” (it actually depends on the referencing style that you are using).
    Anyhow: no problem in quoting me and criticising me in your writing. Only one condition: do send me your own writing so that I can learn from it!

  3. On June 16th, 2011 at 19:54 Carolyn Steele wrote:

    Absolutely – and thank you! I’m just in the early stages. This summer I’ll be doing a historical overview – interviewing Kat, and a few other players at the NFB and CitizenShift. I won’t be getting to my analysis of actual ponline projects until winter 2012, but at that time I will be posting on this site for sure – so don’t take it down once your diss is finished! :)

  4. On June 27th, 2011 at 22:13 Sandra wrote:

    Great! I’ll wait for you!!!
    I was hoping to finish my Phd in December but my supervisors have just asked me to write more case studies so… it will certainly take longer!
    Anyway: I as you know I am currently re-launching – and I hope it will become a collaborative website on i-docs so… if I ever take down my website the discussion will carry on!

  5. On May 12th, 2017 at 17:15 AaronKed wrote:

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