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[Commlist] i-Docs 2020 call for participation
Wed Oct 23 19:10:31 GMT 2019
*i-Docs 2020 – Call for Participation DEADLINE EXTENDED*
Submissions now close *midnight GMT, Sunday 3 November*
There’s still time – a week and a half to go until submissions close for
Following the success of five previous i-Docs Symposia, we are pleased
to announce the call for participation for i-Docs 2020
Convened by Judith Aston, Sandra Gaudenzi, Mandy Rose and Julia
Scott-Stevenson, and hosted by UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research
Centre <https://www.dcrc.org.uk/>, i-Docs 2020 will be held at Watershed
in Bristol’s Harbourside on Wednesday to Friday 25-27 March. We invite
proposals for papers, pre-constituted panels, case studies, posters and
projects to showcase. In addition, this time we also want to encourage
alternative and remote forms of participation – both to reduce the
carbon footprint of the event and to include delegates otherwise unable
to take part.
At a moment when we face urgent political, social and environmental
challenges, we want to address the potential of evolving documentary
forms as a means of creative response, as well as for place-making,
convening and way-finding. Donna Haraway speaks of staying with the
trouble. We imagine the i-Docs symposium as a space to do just that; to
articulate, critically engage with and interrogate how i-docs – which we
understand broadly as any project that starts with the intention to
engage with the real, and that uses digital interactive technology to
realise this intention – can be harnessed to respond to complex
challenges at a variety of scales.
At the last i-Docs Symposium in 2018, we expanded the definition of the
‘i’ in i-Docs to encompass not just interactive, but also immersive, and
in second order – intervention, impact, and innovation. These frames
continue to underpin our explorations of the form. As in previous
editions, we welcome proposals on any aspect of i-doc theory and
practice. This year we also highlight three content-based themes around
which we are keen to convene debate and support the development of
*Climate and Ecological Emergency *
Any number of deadlines have come and gone, and global carbon emissions
are still rising. Meanwhile, deforestation and species depletion are
reaching unprecedented levels. From /An Inconvenient Truth/ and /The Age
of Stupid/ to BBC’s recent /Climate Change: the facts/, linear
documentary has had a significant role in describing these problems and
sounding the alarm.
• How are interactive and immersive documentaries engaging with these
• What formal and textual strategies are artists adopting to engage with
post-human perspectives and non-Western temporalities, to make visible,
for example, the Slow Violence (Nixon) wrought by environmental collapse
on the poor?
• How can networked and interactive media be employed to assist in the
work of pressuring governments and corporate interests to take
• If documentary’s authority rests on a claim on the real, what role can
it play in speculating on desirable futures?
*Platform Politics and Responsible Tech*
The field of i-docs is predicated on an engagement with emerging
creative media technologies – as tools for production, as platforms and
modes of distribution and exhibition, and as portals to participation
and co-creation. These technologies, though, are increasingly implicated
in a number of problematic practices – from surveillance and algorithmic
profiling to the energy impacts of vast digital processing. i-doc makers
have been exploring resistance through reflexive creative practice –
projects like Do Not Track <https://donottrack-doc.com/> on extractive
data practices, Porton Down <https://porton-down.com/> on the profiling
potential of VR and Spectre <https://sheffdocfest.com/films/6861> on the
affordances of deep fakes and AI for population manipulation all
highlight the possibilities and risks, while simultaneously illuminating
the role of i-docs in critical reflection and action.
• How can we disentangle these complex threads critically and
practically? How do we ethically and responsibly think through the
• How can the audience remain informed and even in control? How does
scale inform our approach here – from data collection of a single
audience member or participant, to potential manipulation of entire
demographics and populations?
• How do we respond critically to the ceaseless emergence of new
creative media technology, and as makers to commissioners’ preference
for cutting-edge innovation? What is the interplay between interactivity
and immersion within i-docs?
• With interactive work being lost as proprietary platforms continue to
evolve, what might open, alternative and DIY platforms offer?
*Bonding and Bridging: Making locally, thinking globally *
It is now clear that the untethered nature of cyberspace is implicated
in some of the problematic forms of online behaviour. i-docs practice,
however, has seen many innovations over time which have strongly evoked
connections with place – from /Gaza/Sderot/ through /Bear 71/ to recent
work like Darren Emerson’s /Common Ground/. At the same time, i-docs
practice has been a site of co-creative experimentation – projects
become both hyper-local and connected to global communities through
shared practice and shared commitment to community ownership.
• What new explorations of place are occurring in current and emerging
• What do the affordances of immersive and interactive media – such as
embodiment, a sense of presence, participation and polyvocality – offer
for projects aiming to evoke a sense of place?
• In what ways are sites of exhibition being experimented with, for
instance as ‘out of home’ VR (OOH) and location-based experiences (LBE)
emerge as popular forms?
• What tensions operate between localism and globalism in immersive and
interactive media practice and politics, and how might we navigate these?
• How can co-creative i-doc methodologies connect communities at a range
of scales? Or, might co-creative approaches have a particular relevance
when interrogating place? **
*A climate-aware conference *
Here at i-Docs we recognise the potential contradiction between making
climate emergency a core theme, yet hosting an event involving a
significant amount of air travel. We firmly believe that there is value
in the face-to-face encounters allowed by a conference in a physical
location. At the same time, we see the flight-intensive conference as an
unsustainable model that is increasingly difficult to justify. For these
reasons, i-Docs 2020 will engage in a number of experiments in order to
help reduce the negative environmental impact associated with flying.
Concessions will be available for delegates from outside England and
Wales who travel overland to the conference, and we will also consider
proposals that can be presented remotely. We encourage attendees who fly
to the symposium to offset their emissions through a recommended offset
programme. We are keen to explore how such changes can bring about
positive impacts in shaping the conference, and will be exploring a
range of possibilities in the lead-up to the event.
Further reading on academic flying:
• Trying to Stay Grounded
• Climate ethicists flying to conferences? The middle ground regarding
voluntarily offsetting emissions
• We Have to Stop Meeting Like This: The Climate Cost of Conferences
*SUBMISSION DETAILS *
Proposals of not more than 400 words should be submitted via this online
form <https://gecko.fm/fwfqc>, by midnight GMT, Sunday 3 November 2019.
We welcome proposals for papers, pre-constituted panels, case studies,
posters and projects to showcase – please specify what form your
submission will take. Please note that due to limited space, we cannot
guarantee that all projects submitted for the showcase will be accepted,
and we strongly recommend submitting an accompanying paper presentation.
Please include a brief bio (max 160 words). Proposals for alternate
formats are welcome, and please specify if you are proposing a remote
presentation. Please address any queries to (i.docs /at/ uwe.ac.uk)
See the call online:
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