----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
Post from one of this week’s guests: Helen De Michael

> From: Thirtyleaves <helen de michiel>
> Date: April 5, 2018 at 03:42:57 GMT+4
> To: Dale Hudson <dmh2...@nyu.edu>
> I have seen many new medias arrive and depart on platforms that were like 
> mirages, and platforms that had grown solid, almost real, as if I could touch 
> them again in the years to come. But because that will probably not happen, 
> it has been liberating for us as creators and scholars to connect new media 
> documentary projects to the open space framework: brave explorations that are 
> realized in the peripheral nodes beyond the theater or television screen.  
> This is documentary untethered and participatory. It plays within spaces not 
> typically connected to the genre. It is about shape-shifting the form, 
> breaking it open to let the work meet people, places and technologies in new 
> combinations and patterns. At its richest and most surprising, an open space 
> documentary evokes dialogue where there was silence. It gives form and 
> meaning to the times and sensibilities we live with now by fearlessly 
> embracing rapidly evolving techniques and critical approaches, not knowing 
> where they could lead.
> What if I want to experiment with making an open space documentary project? 
> How can I plan a structure and form without getting swept away and 
> overwhelmed?
> In my experience, the secret is in taking small steps and considering your 
> intentions and constraints as you proceed. To facilitate this process, my 
> co-author, Patricia Zimmermann and I conceived of a toolkit to anchor both 
> the practice and an accompanying conceptual framework. As a toolkit, it can 
> ground the creative process when planning this kind of project. The toolkit 
> approach can also function as a theoretical scaffold when thinking about and 
> explaining the diversity of new media documentary.  We call these the ten 
> “C”s to consider when a project is both taking shape, and when discussing its 
> outcome and ripple effect:
> Community (what we’re building)     
> Complexity (that’s a given always)
> Conversation (what kinds we are inspiring)
> Collaboration (absolutely necessary)
> Connection (empathy for the visitor and their time)            
> Cost (estimate and review constantly)
> Context (always changing)                                                    
> Continuum (where are we on the curve now?)
> Circular (responsive and interdependent on the web))        
> Compost (the project will end, die, and where will it go?)
> The ten “C” take advantage of the fact that new media is in a swirl of 
> constant change, response and adaptation. How do you feel these elements can 
> impact your work in and thinking about new documentary media forms?
>> On Apr 2, 2018, at 20:42, Dale Hudson <dmh2...@nyu.edu> wrote:
>> Welcome to the April 2018 discussion: new media documentary practice, 
>> moderated by Dale Hudson (AE/US).
>> I hope that the discussion opens expectations about documentary to modes 
>> that use digital technologies to help us reengage the complexities our 
>> world. Some recover repressed or overlooked histories; others speculate on 
>> possible futures. Some analyze the everyday mediated images of the world 
>> that shape our perceptions of global connections; others locate themselves 
>> in particular locations to reveal subtle and often subjective details that 
>> might otherwise escape notice.
>> The last three weeks will focus on artists, scholars, and others 
>> participating in the “Invisible Geographies” exhibition for the twentieth 
>> edition of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, which reimagines 
>> how we think about documentary across vectors that are visible and 
>> invisible, material and immaterial, audible and inaudible.
>> Confirmed guests include: Philip Cartelli (US/FR), Dawn Dawson-House (US), 
>> Helen De Michiel (US), Adam Fish (UK), Garrett Lynch and Frédérique Santune 
>> (IE/FR), Erin McElroy (US), Liz Miller (US/CA), Max Schleser (AU), Naz 
>> Shahrokh (IR/AE), Sarah Shamash (BR/CA), Toby Tatum (UK), Steve WetzeL 
>> (USA), and Patricia R. Zimmermann (US).
>> For the first week, the discussion will focus on Patricia R. Zimmermann and 
>> Helen De Michiel’s new book _Open Space New Media Documentary: A Toolkit for 
>> Theory and Practice_ (Routledge, 2017), which reimagines how we think about 
>> and teach documentary practice.
>> They highlight community-based practices that are sustainable, scalable, and 
>> relatively inexpensive. They also select and analyze documentary projects 
>> made between 2000 and 2017 by artists and scholars in Argentina, Canada, 
>> China, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, Syria, Ukraine, United States, and elsewhere, 
>> including the in-between spaces of diaspora and exile.
>> Their book also bridges what is often conceived as a divide between theory 
>> and practice by offering a “toolkit” for putting theory into practice, but 
>> also one for opening theory to considering a range of practices that have 
>> emerged with new technologies and even been ignored or marginalized by past 
>> generations.
>> With this message, I invite the –empyre subscriber list to discuss these 
>> issues in our soft-skinned space with our distinguished group of weekly 
>> guests. 
>> Best,
>> Dale
>> Guest bios:
>> Patricia R. Zimmermann (US) is professor of screen studies at Ithaca College 
>> in the United States. Her books include _The Flaherty: Decades in the Cause 
>> of Independent Cinema_ (2017); _Open Space: Openings, Closings, and 
>> Thresholds of Independent Public Media_ (2016); _Thinking Through Digital 
>> Media: Transnational Environments and Locative Places_ (2015), and many 
>> others.
>> Helen De Michiel (US) is a filmmaker, writer, and community designer based 
>> in Berkeley in the United States. Her documentary projects include the 
>> work-in-progress _Knocking on Doors_, _Lunch Love Community_ (2015), _The 
>> Gender Chip Project_ (2004), _Turn Here Sweet Corn_ (1990), the dramatic 
>> feature _Tarantella_ (1994), and many other shorts and media installations.
>> Moderator bio: 
>> Dale Hudson (AE/US) teaches in the Film and New Media Program at New York 
>> University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) in the United Arab Emirates. He is a digital 
>> curator for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) and 
>> coordinator of Films from the Gulf at the Middle East Studies Association 
>> (MESA) FilmFest. He is author of _Vampires, Race, and Transnational 
>> Hollywoods_ (2017) and co-author of _Thinking through Digital Media: 
>> Transnational Environments and Locative Places_ (2015). 
>> __
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