“‘Documentary’ can be no more easily defined than “love” or “culture.” Its meaning cannot be reduced to a dictionary definition in the way that “temperature” or “table sate” can be. The definition of “documentary” is always relational or comparative.” (Bill Nichols, Introduction to Documentary, 2001).

Over the past decade, the documentary genre has shifted in technological scope and aesthetic range. As documentary viewers, practitioners and academics, we are occupying an exciting testing ground for documentary practice as we move towards a global culture of documentary consumption in gamification, interactivity and immersive storytelling. The malleability of the non-fiction form is increasingly being stretched across platforms and exhibition formats.

Verging will interrogate the current landscape and changing language of documentary practices across technologies, aesthetics and audiences. As an exhaustive task, we invite a cross-collaborative, intersectional group of speakers, panelists and workshop leaders to speak about their documentary practices and their engagement with theoretical documentary writing. We will interrogate the varied approaches to documentary form and their desired outcomes and intentions. We will gather work from traditional documentary, across interactive storytelling, and through augmented and virtual realities. We will ask how and if commercial, artistic, activist, and educational practitioners can and are working in conjunction.

Through workshops and panels, our symposium will examine current projects as we seek to understand how to incorporate emerging technologies in both documentary making and consumption. How do we learn, practice, and teach today’s documentary language?


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