Welcome to the MIT Open Documentary Lab

The OpenDocLab brings technologists, storytellers, and scholars together to advance the new arts of documentary.
April 25: Maureen Towey from The New York Times visits ODL

April 25: Maureen Towey from The New York Times visits ODL

Join us for a talk by Maureen Towey on April 25 at 12pm at Open Doc Lab! Maureen Towey is a director, producer, and visual journalist working across mediums. She is currently the Senior Producer for...
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....
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
Lara Baladi

Lara Baladi

Lara Baladi is an internationally recognized multi-disciplinary Egyptian artist. Baladi applies archives, investigations of myths, and personal narratives to a range of mediums including architectural and video installations. Baladi publishes and exhibits worldwide. Her works are part of a number of institutional and private collections. She has been a board member of the Arab Image Foundation since its creation in 1997. During the 2011 Egyptian uprising, Baladi co-founded two media...
Cindy Sherman Bishop

Cindy Sherman Bishop

Cindy Sherman Bishop is a visual artist and creative coder. She pushes interactive experiences into the world of 3D and immersive technology, employing the art of play as well as of aesthetics. Her interactive filmic pieces have exhibited locally and around the country.  At the MIT OpenDocLab, she will be workshopping her new transmedia project, The Dollhouse, and related NLP (Natural Language Processing) tools. When she needs to get away...
Heidi Boisvert

Heidi Boisvert

Heidi Boisvert is a new media artist, creative technologist, experience designer, researcher and writer. She founded and serves as the CEO and Creative Director of the futurePerfect lab, a boutique creative agency that works with non-profits to develop imaginative applications of integrated media and emerging technology. Heidi was formerly the Media Director at Breakthrough where she designed, developed and promoted a range of viral, new media and pop culture campaigns...
Halsey Burgund

Halsey Burgund

After getting a degree in geophysics, designing and building furniture, and working in the high tech industry, Halsey Burgund is now a sound artist and musician. He works primarily with spoken voices in combination with traditional and electronic instruments in both audio installations and musical performances.  Recently, his work has focused on contributory location-based audio installations for which he developed Roundware, a distributed platform for collecting, organizing, and re-presenting media...
Callum Cooper

Callum Cooper

Callum Cooper is an artist and filmmaker. His work covers a spectrum of the moving image from traditional, linear filmmaking to interactive technology driven artworks. Cooper’s works are participatory in either their process, content or viewing experience. His linear films have screened internationally including Sundance 2011 (nominated best narrative short film) and Sundance 2013 (Jury Prize Focus Forward, short documentary). Cooper’s non-linear work has been extensively exhibited including the Barbican...
Last Week at ODL: #Mickey by Betzabé García, Gibrann Morgado and Blas Valdez

Last Week at ODL: #Mickey by Betzabé García, Gibrann Morgado and Blas Valdez

#Mickey by Betzabé García, Gibrann Morgado and Blas Valdez by Beyza Boyacioglu Last week at ODL, director Betzabé Garcia introduced her project #Mickey with her designer Gibrann Morgado and producer Blas Veldez. #Mickey is a cross-platform documentary about a gender-fluid Youtube celebrity from Sinaloa, Mexico. The project is comprised of a linear film annotated with augmented reality (AR) components and an interactive 360-degree video that uses WebVR technology. Through a multi-layered stylistic approach,...
Last Week at ODL: September 1955 by Deniz Tortum, Cagri Zaman and Nil Tuzcu

Last Week at ODL: September 1955 by Deniz Tortum, Cagri Zaman and Nil Tuzcu

Last Week at ODL: September 1955 by Deniz Tortum, Cagri Zaman and Nil Tuzcu by Beyza Boyacioglu Open Documentary Lab and Comparative Media Studies alumnus Deniz Tortum, together with his collaborator Cagri Zaman, visited our lab on Tuesday and spoke about the creative process behind their recent VR project September 1955. September 1955 is a 10-minute virtual reality documentary about the Istanbul Pogrom, a government-initiated attack on the minorities of Istanbul on...
ODL alum Deniz Tortum's 'Virtual Collaboration Research' wins DesignX

ODL alum Deniz Tortum’s ‘Virtual Collaboration Research’ wins DesignX

Open Documentary Lab alum Deniz Tortum’s team ‘Virtual Collaboration Research’ is selected for DesignX, the entrepreneurship accelerator from MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning(SA+P). Virtual Collaboration Research is developing Mediate, an artificial-intelligence-supported, speech-driven spatial markup tool for virtual reality, enabling designers and architects to work collaboratively inside virtual reality. Congrats Deniz!
Five Pillars of VR Storytelling by Julia Sourikoff

Five Pillars of VR Storytelling by Julia Sourikoff

Julia Sourikoff’s Five Pillars of VR Storytelling  by Beyza Boyacioglu Open Documentary Lab and VR@MIT, in partnership with Oculus Next Gen, invited Julia Sourikoff, Head of VR at Tool of North America, to deliver a lecture on the dos and don’ts of VR storytelling. Here are Sourikoff’s five pillars of VR storytelling and highlights from her lecture: Why VR: Transcendence and Empowerment Sourikoff began her lecture by emphasizing the psychology behind...
Dec 13: September 55 and #Mickey

Dec 13: September 55 and #Mickey

December 13, 2016, Morning Session September 55 by Cagri Zaman, Nil Tuzcu, and Deniz Tortum September 55 is a 10-minute virtual-reality documentary of the Istanbul Pogrom, a government-initiated organized attack on the minorities of Istanbul on September6-7, 1955. This interactive installation places the viewer in a reconstructed photography studio in the midst of the pogrom, allowing one to witness the events from the perspective of a local shop-owner. Drawing on the photographic archive of Maryam Sahinyan (1911-1996)...