More than words, databases, documentary and stagefright (week ending 23032012)

The week ending the 23rd March 2012 saw the beginning of Spring, with weather to match, the second i-Docs conference on interactive documentary, and DCRC involvement with the BBC’s More Than Words Festival, held in Bristol.

We were also delighted to welcome our colleague Alison Davis into the studio as the Administrator for the REACT Knowledge Exchange hub. The week ending 23rd March was also week 133 of the DCRC. 133 is another happy number, to match our mood lifted by the sunshine, and the Bristol Type 133 aeroplane was the first RAF plane with retractable wheels.

Spanning the 22nd and 23rd March, the i-Docs 2012 conference, held at Watershed on the Bristol harbourside, was the second iteration of perhaps the only international conference dedicated to the emerging category of interactive documentary making. Over two days of conference presentations a diverse range of speakers and an ethusiastic audience explore themes such as ‘questioning participation’, ‘layered realities’ and cutting edge online production tools, such as 3WDOC Studio, Klynt and Popcorn. On Saturday 24th, hands-on workshops were convened around novel production tools 3WDOC Studio and Klynt. You can read more about the conference on the i-Docs website, including Storify documentation.

Within the auspices of the BBC-UWE collaborative Fusion Labs project, the DCRC facilitated the production and promotion of the Bristol Urban Myths app for the BBC’s More Than Words Festival (available on iTunes). DCRC researcher Tom Abba gave a Masterclass in narrative sound design with artist, and long-time DCRC collabotator, Duncan Speakman to a combined public and professional audience.

We have a number of new projects in progress in the research centre that will be progressively added to this website. The first project we are pleased to feature is Yvonne Buchheim’s Stagefright. The research emerges from an existing body of work titled Song Archive Project. The archive consists of 900 song video recordings by amateur singers who perform a song of their choice unprepared and from memory only. Read more about Yvonne’s fascinating research on the Stagefright project page.

As we blogged during the week, DCRC Senior Research Fellow Mandy Rose had a busy trans-Atlantic week, presenting at both the MIT New Arts of Documentary summit and i-Docs 2012, here in Bristol. Mandy keeps a blog about her research interests on her Collabdocs website, which is also aggregated on this blog. Recently, Mandy offered a fantastic post outlining four categories of collaborative documentary, a must-read!

Last week also brought the Invisible Airs film, by UWE colleague Alistair Oldham, to the DCRC website. Invisible Airs is both the title of the film and the artwork it addresses, produced by artists YoHa, who described it as ‘an investigation of Power, Governance and Data informed by the expenditure database of Bristol City Council.’ YoHA were commissioned by the DCRC and Bristol City Council’s Connecting Bristol as part of the ‘b-open‘ scheme.

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