Open Space Documentary

Towards a Theory and Practice of Open Space Documentary

Nikki Draper and Patricia Zimmermann

This presentation on the theory of Open Space explores consider new forms of documentary practice within digitality. The paper will discuss, as an example, Open Space‘s collaboration with the Syndicate Collective, an audio-visual super-collective of VJs and DJs based in Singapore.  Draper and Zimmermann discuss the thematics and processes involved their collaboration with the Human Studies Film Archives of the Smithsonian Institution into a project that reprocesses and mutates sounds and images from Southeast Asia. They discuss how electronically layered soundscapes, live twitter feeds, live RSS feeds, and collaborative audio, were incorporated with these archival and contemporary images in a live setting.

Nikki Draper is a lecturer in the Broadcast and Cinema studies division in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. She has a Masters degree in documentary film from Stanford University. Ms. Draper teaches production and production-related courses including documentary concepts and applications. Prior to working at NTU, she was an editor and producer for a US company that specialized in corporate promotions and educational videos.  Her 2005 documentary, Bachelor Farmer was showcased at the Documentary Fortnight series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and licensed to Logo, a US cable station owned by MTV.

Patricia R. Zimmermann is professor in the Department of Cinema, Photography and Media Arts at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, USA.  She is also codirector (with Tom Shevory) of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival in the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies at Ithaca College. She has also held endowed chair appointments as the Ida Beam Professor in Cinema and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa and the Shaw Foundation Professor of New Media in the School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.  She is the author of Reel Families: A Social History of Amateur Film (Indiana, 1995), States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, and Democracies (Minnesota, 2009), and co-editor of Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories (California, 2008).  She was coeditor with Erik Barnouw of The Flaherty: Four Decades in the Cause of Independent Cinema (Wide Angle, 1996). Her book on digital arts, Public Domains: Cinemas, Histories, Visualities (Temple University Press, forthcoming), explores the relationship between historiography, political engagements and digital art practices.




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