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Welcome to the MIT Open Documentary Lab

The OpenDocLab brings technologists, storytellers, and scholars together to advance the new arts of documentary.
No Turning Back| Raney Aronson-Rath

No Turning Back| Raney Aronson-Rath

OpenDocLab Fellow Raney Aronson-Rath describes what it’s like to be back in school after 20 years. Her blog will follow her year-long journey as she re-imagines how interactive documentary filmmaking will impact her thinking and her work at FRONTLINE, where she is Deputy Executive Producer. This piece was originally posted at raneyaronson.tumblr.com.  PART 2: No Turning Back ...
William Uricchio speaking at Singapore Conference

William Uricchio speaking at Singapore Conference

ODL Principal Investigator William Uricchio will present keynote “Old Dogs – New Tricks: Lessons from the interactive documentary at the  International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) on November 2014 in Singapore. 
Storytelling UX: An Interview with Jeff Soyk on the Making of Hollow

Storytelling UX: An Interview with Jeff Soyk on the Making of Hollow

I sat down with art director and UX (user experience) designer Jeff Soyk to discuss the design process behind Hollow, a community-based interactive documentary about rural West Virginia directed by Elaine McMillion. Hollow was recently recognized with a Peabody Award and a 3rd Prize in the multimedia category at World Press...
Latest entries
Moments of convergence and innovation between documentary film and interactive media, Part 5

Moments of convergence and innovation between documentary film and interactive media, Part 5

Moments of convergence and innovation between documentary film and interactive media: Decade 1950-1960 by Arnau Gifreu Castells To formulate a relevant concept for the interactive documentary field we need to explore some aspects of the two key areas: the documentary genre and the interactive medium. This new series presents a combined, parallel, and comparative historical...
Back to School | Raney Aronson-Rath

Back to School | Raney Aronson-Rath

OpenDocLab Fellow Raney Aronson-Rath describes what it’s like to be back in school after 20 years. Her blog will follow her year-long journey as she re-imagines how interactive documentary filmmaking will impact her thinking and her work at FRONTLINE, where she is Deputy Executive Producer. This piece was originally posted at raneyaronson.tumblr.com.  PART 1: Back to School I had...
Philip Napoli, “Media Impact Assessment and Beyond: Thoughts on the Treacherous Task of Quantifying Journalistic Performance”

Philip Napoli, “Media Impact Assessment and Beyond: Thoughts on the Treacherous Task of Quantifying Journalistic Performance”

September 18 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm In recent years, a variety of funders have begun to invest substantially in efforts to assess the impact of media initiatives such as documentary films and journalism ventures. These efforts reflect a fundamental shift in how media performance is assessed (and whose assessments matter) in an environment...
Dox Magazine | Evolution: An Inside Look at the Open Doc Lab

Dox Magazine | Evolution: An Inside Look at the Open Doc Lab

OpenDocLab Artist-in-Residence Suvi Helminen talks with Principal Investigator William Uricchio in this Dox Magazine profile of the lab and the history of documentary’s relationship with new media technology: From a technological point of view MIT has had great impact on media history in terms of providing affordances for which type of content could be created....
Lara Baladi | Vox Populi, Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age

Lara Baladi | Vox Populi, Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age

During the #Jan25 revolution—the hashtag used by online activists during the 2011 Egyptian uprising—the world watched as Egyptians toppled their president, Hosni Mubarak, transforming Tahrir Square into a vibrant place for demonstrations of social solidarity and political struggle. Just as the YouTube video “Tiananmen-Cairo Courage in Cairo” went viral, a friend posted on Facebook a speech Jean Paul Sartre...
Halsey Burgund | Roundware

Halsey Burgund | Roundware

OpenDocLab Fellow Halsey Burgund is exploring how the techniques and technologies he has developed to create immersive, geo-located audio installations can be adapted by documentary storytellers.  Halsey developed and open-sourced the Roundware audio platform which enables him to create his installations, and he will investigate how Roundware might be used to enhance physical spaces with...
Katerina Cizek | HIGHRISE: Digital Citizenship (working title)

Katerina Cizek | HIGHRISE: Digital Citizenship (working title)

The final major project to emerge from the National Film Board of Canada’s HIGHRISE,  DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP is a documentary and academic collaborative study investigating the invisible digital lives and stories of people living vertically around the world. From intimate whispers across skype, to the explosive political uses of whatsapp, how are relationships shifting between global...
David Dufresne | Off Side

David Dufresne | Off Side

Sports and Money. Money and Sports. OFF SIDE is an investigative game about both the good and the dark sides of sports business. OpenDocLab fellow David Dufresne has the idea to go even deeper and further exploring digital storytelling and the role of the user inside a game than he did with  www.fortmcmoney.com.   At MIT,  David Dufresne will research the following questions:...
Tina Gharavi | From the Plantation to the Penitentiary

Tina Gharavi | From the Plantation to the Penitentiary

From the Plantation to the Penitentiary is a documentary by OpenDocLab Fellow Tina Gharavi.  It confronts the worsening social issues arising from the current prison-for-profit system. A film that puts front and centre social injustice, political corruption, and racial inequality in America today—asking whether America needs to re-examine its past in order to be able to...
Suvi Helminen | FLUX

Suvi Helminen | FLUX

During OpenDocLab Fellow Suvi Helminen’s residency, she has been working on Flux, an interactive web documentary exploring gender identity as a social construct. The user travels through a portal to visit Flux, an alternate world where gender is negotiated, fluid, and not given. The narrative will be personalized and adapt to each individual user; it...
Marisa Jahn | Immersive Media & Low Wage Workers

Marisa Jahn | Immersive Media & Low Wage Workers

OpenDocLab Research Affiliate Marisa Jahn is currently investigating transmedia storytelling strategies related to several projects she initiated:El Bibliobandido (or ‘story thief’), an ongoing living legend built around a story-eating bandit who terrorizes little kids until they offer him stories they’ve written; Video Slink Uganda, a project that transposes experimental videos by African diaspora video artists into the...
Karim Ben Khelifa| The Enemy

Karim Ben Khelifa| The Enemy

Via an immersive augmented-reality installation and an app for tablets and mobiles The Enemy project, by OpenDocLab Fellow Karim Ben Khelifa, attempts to jolt the audience (visitors and viewers) out of the role of passive bystanders who observe never-ending conflicts from a distance, by placing them in the space between two adversaries. The audience will...