Welcome to the MIT Open Documentary Lab

The OpenDocLab brings technologists, storytellers, and scholars together to advance the new arts of documentary.
Public Statement Against President Trump's Proposed Budget Cuts

Public Statement Against President Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts

The MIT Open Documentary Lab joins our friends and colleagues in public media, the arts and sciences, and the humanities in urging people to speak out and take action against President Trump’s budget proposal....
April 4: StoryHackers & Sandra Barrón Ramírez visit ODL

April 4: StoryHackers & Sandra Barrón Ramírez visit ODL

On April 4 at 12pm, Nieman Foundation fellow Sandra Barrón Ramírez, and María Laura Ruggiero and Gia Castello from StoryHackers will be at Open Documentary Lab to discuss their recent work. SeirenFilms is a transmedia storytelling...
Hacking VR Speaker Series: The Art and Science of VR Panel

Hacking VR Speaker Series: The Art and Science of VR Panel

How does our brain react to VR? How can neurobiology help us tell more effective stories? What can scientists learn from VR storytelling? And how do creative VR makers work with scientists to push...
Update or Die: Future Proofing Emerging Digital Documentary Forms

Update or Die: Future Proofing Emerging Digital Documentary Forms

A one-day conference curated by the MIT Open Documentary Lab and Phi, in collaboration with IDFA DocLab and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Purchase a ticket here. Unstable platforms, rapidly changing technologies, and...
Hacking VR Speaker Series: Brian Chirls on webVR

Hacking VR Speaker Series: Brian Chirls on webVR

The Hacking VR Speaker Series began with a talk by Brian Chirls on webVR. This series is presented by MIT Open Documentary Lab and MIT Center for Art, Science and Technology, and supported by MacArthur...
The Hacking VR Speaker Series

The Hacking VR Speaker Series

The Hacking VR Speaker Series Offered in Spring 2017 in conjunction with the MIT class Hacking VR, Hacking VR Speaker Series is presented by the MIT Open Documentary Lab and the MIT Center for...
Afrofuturist Virtual Reality Installation Reimagines the Future for Women Of Color

Afrofuturist Virtual Reality Installation Reimagines the Future for Women Of Color

Afrofuturist Virtual Reality Installation Reimagines the Future for Women Of Color Open Doc Lab researcher Sue Ding reports from this year’s New Frontier exhibition at Sundance Film Festival. This article was originally featured in Indiewire....
VR in the Real World: How an Emerging Technology Could Change the World

VR in the Real World: How an Emerging Technology Could Change the World

VR in the Real World: How an Emerging Technology Could Change the World Open Doc Lab researcher Sara Rafsky reports from this year’s New Frontier exhibition at Sundance Film Festival. This article was originally featured...
Virtually There Conference Case Study

Virtually There Conference Case Study

Virtually There conference gathered together leading makers, technologists, academics, curators, and critics for two days of intensive demonstrations and discussions regarding the possibilities and implications of using VR for documentary. In these still early...
Latest entries
Public Statement Against President Trump's Proposed Budget Cuts

Public Statement Against President Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts

The MIT Open Documentary Lab joins our friends and colleagues in public media, the arts and sciences, and the humanities in urging people to speak out and take action against President Trump’s budget proposal. The proposal would end funding for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and significantly reduce funding for research in the sciences. Our lab is founded...
April 4: StoryHackers & Sandra Barrón Ramírez visit ODL

April 4: StoryHackers & Sandra Barrón Ramírez visit ODL

On April 4 at 12pm, Nieman Foundation fellow Sandra Barrón Ramírez, and María Laura Ruggiero and Gia Castello from StoryHackers will be at Open Documentary Lab to discuss their recent work. SeirenFilms is a transmedia storytelling and experiential design company based in Argentina. Ranging from Film to VR, from documentaries to interactive installations, this lab explores new narratives in the digital universe combining a passion for stories and poetry and a love...
Hacking VR Speaker Series: The Art and Science of VR Panel

Hacking VR Speaker Series: The Art and Science of VR Panel

How does our brain react to VR? How can neurobiology help us tell more effective stories? What can scientists learn from VR storytelling? And how do creative VR makers work with scientists to push the limits of immersive experiences? What are the affordances and impact of VR from narrative and scientific perspectives? This interdisciplinary panel brings together VR creators whose stories focus on real human lived conditions, Arnaud Colinart of...
Update or Die: Future Proofing Emerging Digital Documentary Forms

Update or Die: Future Proofing Emerging Digital Documentary Forms

A one-day conference curated by the MIT Open Documentary Lab and Phi, in collaboration with IDFA DocLab and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Purchase a ticket here. Unstable platforms, rapidly changing technologies, and shifting investment priorities are the new normal in today’s media landscape. As attention turns to the next big thing, digital games, artwork, interactive news features, and web-based documentaries made as recently as five years ago face...
Last Week at ODL: Julia Yezbick

Last Week at ODL: Julia Yezbick

Last week at Open Documentary Lab, Julia Yezbick discussed her work as a documentary filmmaker-anthropologist and situated her practice within the traditions of both fields. Usually based in Detroit, Yezbick is currently teaching in the anthropology department  at Harvard University, where she received her PhD in Media Anthropology and Critical Media Practice in 2016, Yezbick began by discussing how studying the foundational concepts behind the fields of anthropology, ethnographic and...
ODL fellow Heidi Boisvert organizes Codes & Modes: ReFraming Reality, Virtuality & Non-Fiction Media

ODL fellow Heidi Boisvert organizes Codes & Modes: ReFraming Reality, Virtuality & Non-Fiction Media

Codes & Modes: ReFraming Reality, Virtuality & Non-Fiction Media aims to create an intervention into the uncritical excitement about virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning to establish a space for conversations about long-term socio-cultural and neurobiological impacts. Presenters will discuss how theorists, activists and artists can develop useful frameworks to explore the complex implications of using these emerging technologies. Featured speakers include Lev Manovich (Director of the...
Hacking VR Speaker Series: Brian Chirls on webVR

Hacking VR Speaker Series: Brian Chirls on webVR

The Hacking VR Speaker Series began with a talk by Brian Chirls on webVR. This series is presented by MIT Open Documentary Lab and MIT Center for Art, Science and Technology, and supported by MacArthur Foundation. Watch the video here:
March 7: Julia Yezbick visits Open Documentary Lab

March 7: Julia Yezbick visits Open Documentary Lab

Julia Yezbick will visit Open Documentary Lab on March 7 at 12pm to present excerpts of her recent work, Into the Hinterlands (2015), and How to Rust (2016) and discussing her practice as a filmmaker-anthropologist. Julia Yezbick is a Detroit-based filmmaker, artist, and anthropologist who received her PhD in Media Anthropology and Critical Media Practice from Harvard University in 2016. Her work has been shown at international festivals and venues including...
The Hacking VR Speaker Series

The Hacking VR Speaker Series

The Hacking VR Speaker Series Offered in Spring 2017 in conjunction with the MIT class Hacking VR, Hacking VR Speaker Series is presented by the MIT Open Documentary Lab and the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology. The series is free and open to the public. Reservations recommended.
Last Week at ODL: TRUST (the presence of secrets) by Sarah Newman, Jessica Yurkofsky and Matthew Battles

Last Week at ODL: TRUST (the presence of secrets) by Sarah Newman, Jessica Yurkofsky and Matthew Battles

TRUST (the presence of secrets) by Sarah Newman, Jessica Yurkofsky and Matthew Battles Last week at ODL Sarah Newman, Jessica Yurkofsky and Matthew Battles described their work at Harvard’s metaLAB and presented Sarah and Jessica’s recent project TRUST (the presence of secrets). metaLAB, which is affiliated with Harvard Law School’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, is a small design lab, production studio and research group exploring technology’s role...