A Theory and Practice of Transmedia Arts Activism, Critical Design and Ethics
Chapter 4 Networked Audio-Visual Culture and New Digital Publics
Networked Audio-Visual Technologies
With the development and rise of networked communications technologies, artists are presented with multiple digital platforms with which to produce and present their works. In order to critically evaluate the various media forms that a social issue–driven documentary may take, this chapter begins with an overview of the development of digital and online technologies and new digital publics. I describe digital publics as publics that are primarily formed and cultivated through digitally networked platforms, and that primarily exist online. The chapter then focuses on how these online technologies spark new forms of visibility and expressions for minority and indigenous documentary media producers.
As online moving image capabilities continue to improve in resolution, uploading and streaming capacities, filmmakers and distributors have taken advantage of this additional viewing platform. They have also utilized the Internet for marketing their films and expanding audience engagement. The digital structure of audio-visual information that allows for nonlinear, fragmented viewing experiences continues to inspire new forms of moving image making, such as interactive storytelling and interactive documentaries. Interactivity takes on different forms. Sometimes viewers, now participant or user, are asked to make choices regarding the temporality and narrativity of set content. This set content forms the database from which participants access and engage with the work. At other times, users can contribute to the documentary content with new material transforming the experience and the database. This interactive mode of documentary ←101 | 102→is an emerging and dynamic...
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