Article – Using Video to Present Ethnography

An article by Paper Giant, ‘Using Video to Present Ethnography’ on a the project ‘Energy and Digital Living’ that looks at a video tool that works with tagging.

An excerpt from the article:

Whilst video has been used as a tool in ethnographic practice for some time, research that uses video often avoids using it in the dissemination of that research — some academic journals accept video essays or documentaries, but most still rely primarily on written articles. In these cases, researchers are relegated to using screen-captures of video or linking to external content in order to demonstrate their findings. Fewer still recognise the reflexive relationship between the synthesis of research and video representations of the research context.

This site is an attempt to address these concerns. First, it aims to present video alongside descriptive texts in a way that grants it equal weight and criticism. Second, it actively recognises the reflexive relationship between the synthesis of the research context and the video representations of it, as demonstrated through the way video is tagged, described and embedded in the content of the site. Finally, it opens up this reflexive relationship to the research community by providing an archive of the video content generated through the research.

K-film – The End: Death in Seven Colours

A new K-film release The End: Death in Seven Colours by David Clark. An overview and interview written up by Matt Soar. An excerpt from that review:

DAVID CLARK’s new Korsakow film The End: Death in Seven Colours is a labyrinthine and thoroughly absorbing exploration of the deaths of Alan Turing, Sigmund Freud, Princess Diana, Jim Morrison, Judy Garland, Walter Benjamin, and Marcel Duchamp. The deaths of these historic figures are examined through the prism a vast, encyclopedic media mash-up. The work presents an ‘exploded view’ diagram of our culture’s relationship to death and narrative closure. Like a chose-your-own-adventure conspiracy theory, The End weaves together a paranoid meta-text organized around themes of concealment, secrecy, the unknown, and the shifting boundary between animal, man and computer in the post-human era.

Lost Leader project

The Lost Leaders project by Matt Soar in collaboration with Jackie Gallant, which uses an auto play version of Korsakow on Otherzine.

The website for the project:

Direct link to Korsakow work Lost Leaders #2.

It is worth noting the use of sound in the background function, in the previews, and as part of the main content.

The ‘about’ summary of the Korsakow component:

My collaboration with sound artist Jackie Gallant has added a much-needed dimension to the project, and our first outcomes are: Lost Leaders #1 (see above); Lost Leaders #2 (a Korsakow film in which the user literally plays the film by combining ambient sound, ‘mouseover’ sound triggered by user interactions, and sound accompanying the videos selected by the user); and, Lost Leaders #3 aka baby deer.

Documentary design at !Flab

This is excerpt from the about page of the recent !Flab initiative developed to support the design and production of interactive nonfiction projects. I have highlighted aspects which tie in with my own thoughts on documentary design.

The world of documentary filmmaking is progressing fast forward. New digital platforms are rapidly expanding the possibilities for factual storytelling. Interaction becomes the essential key and your skills as a documentary film practitioner are subject to the rapid changing cross-disciplinary context. !Flab aims to facilitate that brand-new change. !Flab is a ground-breaking, innovative Creative Europe initiative and provides a series of three sandbox-labs designed to facilitate creative individuals with the production of successful, factual interactive stories. There are other training initiatives available, but they are either aimed at inspiring people, mentoring them, or at working on their IP. !Flab aspires to be a hands-on Lab rather than a series of inspirational events. It starts from the realisation that there is no clear methodology of work in interactive storytelling and that there needs to be a space for experimentation. It also keeps at its core the importance of merging design techniques with storytelling techniques – hence putting a big emphasis on audiences, testing and design problem solving techniques.

An i-doc on i-docs

Screenshot 2015-08-25 11.14.59

I was introduced to the Come in Doc, Collaborative Meta Interactive Documentary project recently by Arnau Gifreu Castells in his presentation at Visible Evidence XII. We were presenting on the same panel (“Processes, Modes And Methodologies For The Analysis And Design Of Interactive Documentaries”) with Matt Soar one of the Korsakow developers.

The Come in Doc project supported by MIT OpenDocLab, aims to interview interactive documentary practitioners and theorists about interactive documentaries and present that material in a type of interactive documentary. I completed a video interview with Arnau after the panel, so more later as the edit comes through.

Visible Evidence rehearsal

Only a couple weeks until Visible Evidence XXII in Toronto. We, myself and follow nonfictionLab, documentary node colleagues who are attending from RMIT have a presentation rehearsal next week.

Screenshot 2015-07-31 13.18.34

MINA call for smartphone, mobile video works


The callout for the renamed Mobile Innnovation Network Australasia (MINA) went out yesterday. MINA is now extending the initiative beyond the shores of Aotearoa (New Zealand), with the event held at RMIT in Melbourne this year.

The ongoing symposium and international screening series are being held at RMIT in the School of Media and Communication, a collaboration between the nonFiction lab and Screen Cultures research groups at RMIT, and Colab (AUT University, NZ) and Toi Rauwharangi, the College of Creative Arts (Massey University, NZ).

This year as one of the MINA organising committee I am guest co-curating the screening with the MINA co-founder Max Schleser.

All the details for submitting a smartphone or mobile video work are available on the MINA website. Call for Films:

In regards to how mobile videography fits with my own research interest in ‘documentary design’, I found myself in the early stages of my doctorate research gravitating towards recording on small portable devices, as part of exploring everyday practices and the shift to what Merrin describes as “me-dia”…”personal communications, collaborative productions, shared information, user-generated content, and networked relationships”. Initially this was very basic 4:3 digital video on point-in-shoot digital cameras and over time as video developed on mobile and smartphones, it has moved to those camera phone devices (and there is plenty of scope to extend what Schleser refers to as “mobile-mentary filmmaking”).

This interest in recording on mobile/smart phones led to initiating a ‘mobile videography’ media studio in the Masters postgraduate program, that aimed to produce works for possible selection into MINA screenings. With that studio now it in its second year it is great to be directly involved with MINA this year.


Merrin, William. “Studying Me-Dia: The Problem of Method in a Post-Broadcast Age.” Media Studies 2.0. N.p., 2010. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.