3

Welcome to the MIT Open Documentary Lab

The OpenDocLab brings technologists, storytellers, and scholars together to advance the new arts of documentary.
Challenging Convention | Raney Aronson-Rath

Challenging Convention | Raney Aronson-Rath

PART 3: Challenging Convention I remember walking into our newsroom on that day and telling our then head of digital Andrew Golis how clear it was to me how the documentary form would be challenged,...
OpenDocLab awarded a grant to study the intersection of New Documentary forms and Digital Journalism

OpenDocLab awarded a grant to study the intersection of New Documentary forms and Digital Journalism

The MIT Open Documentary Lab received a grant this Fall for $175k from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to map and assess the intersection of new documentary forms and digital journalism....
Latest entries
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 cities, citizenship, and digital technologies? In this unprecedented joint project, produced by MIT Visiting Artist...
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: How to turn spectators into active/hardcore players? How to better manage the notion of time...
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 move forward. This project is complemented by an on-line interactive project, X-Roads (info available on our...
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 unfolds as a consequence of the user’s actions. The outcome is for users to reflect...
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 Ugandan black market; a public art nanny hotline (think NPR’s car talk but for nannies); the NannyVan,...
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 be able to navigate the space between the fighters and listen to their voices and...

Andrew Lowenthal | Video for Change

The Video for Change Impact Project, by OpenDocLab Fellow Andrew Lowenthal, explores the work of short form, citizen video initiatives predominantly from the Global South. Working in collaboration with the video4change network the research explores participation, process, and ethics as key elements in the impact pathway. It also includes a focus on participation and networks in the outreach and engagement stages. Beyond the hits, clicks, and tweets, the research explores how the...
Marie-José Montpetit| Social TV

Marie-José Montpetit| Social TV

In her work, Research Scientist Marie-José Montpetit asks: How can communities be built around TV content in the age of constant connectivity? TV was always social. The original technological design, content programming, and business model of television relied on it being a social medium: TV’s were too expensive to be personal. They were designed for thousands (if not millions) of people to be watching the same program at the same time,...
Hanna Rose Shell | Media Fabric, Textile Skin

Hanna Rose Shell | Media Fabric, Textile Skin

Media Fabric, Textile Skin, a multilayered, multi-linear project, by Associate Professor Hanna Rose Shell, is about the circulation of recycled textiles between the early 1800s and the present. In the result, visitors will be able to hear first-person stories, see technologies being constructed and dismantled, view landscapes as they transition between historical photographs and contemporary video footage, and watch short narrative video clips and archival footage. Layers will all be grounded...
Thorsten Trimpop | The Feather Underground

Thorsten Trimpop | The Feather Underground

The Feather Underground is an interactive project by OpenDocLab Fellow Thorsten Trimpop.  It invites the user/viewer to play the role of a detective and  inquirer on a strange crime involving rare birds and feathers. During the exploration, the user/viewer meets curious characters, penetrates in different subcultures, and discovers how the human obsession with beauty has led to the plunder of the earth for profit, empire, and knowledge.

Arnau Gifreu Castells

OpenDocLab Research Affiliate Arnau Gifreu Castells looks at how interactive documentary has evolved from linear documentary and all the issues these changes raise, including production and distribution logistics; the role of the author; and building a strong business model.  In addition, he curates playlists and finds and analyzes Latin projects for Docubase.

Raney Aronson-Rath

In her time at at MIT, OpenDocLab Fellow Raney Aronson-Rath would like to tap into the new exciting, emerging Virtual reality 3D technology with the hope that this new technology has the ability to transform the way we tell stories and the look and feel of our documentaries.  She will be exploring 3D not just for immersive scenes in the field but also in applying this new technology to conversations...