The Open Documentary Lab is pleased to announce the Research Forum, a space for researchers to voice their opinions and test new theories. As part of our mission to promote the exchange of ideas about the new arts of documentary, we hope to encourage academic discussion and debate about these emerging forms by creating a place where researchers can develop ideas and interact with the field. The views presented here belong to their authors, and will necessarily take different forms. In the spirit of the documentaries we study, we look forward to community collaboration and exchange as the ideas explored in the Research Forum take root, grow and support the development of the field.

Combined evolution of the documentary genre and interactive media: towards the interactive documentary

Introduction: the documentary genre and the digital media (V)

by Arnau Gifreu Castells

In this series we focus on analyzing the two main parts that constitute the interactive documentary field: the documentary genre and interactive media. In these articles we introduce an original combined evolution of the digital and documentary mediums, in which it is interesting to observe that there are some significant coincidences in time between them. Our aim is to link moments of innovation in the documentary genre and storytelling in general with technological experiments, inventions and pioneering concepts in the digital field.

Nichols and the modes of representation

Nichols’ model has been the most extensively studied and criticized in the area of contemporary film theory. His categories are based on the combination of variables of filming styles and material practices. The first classifications were based on the narratological distinction between direct and indirect styles, which evolved until there were four basic documentary modes: the expository, the observational, the reflexive, and the interactive (Burton, 1990)1. In her subsequent work, she changed the interactive mode for the participatory mode and introduced two new modes – the poetic and reflective. Finally, in her third book, she revises and extends her previous work and incorporates the performance mode.

According to Nichols says (1991:65), situations and events, actions and issues, can be represented in different ways. The modes of representation are basic ways of organizing texts in relation to some recurrent characteristics or conventions. The author insists that his analysis and categories have a historical chronology, as new models are developed as a result of dissatisfaction with the predominant model in a given period, although this does not prevent the coexistence of specific movements or documentaries within the same period. Nichols put it as follows:

New modes convey a fresh, new perspective on reality. Gradually, the conventional nature of this mode of representation becomes increasingly apparent: an awareness of norms and conventions to which a given text adheres begins to frost the window onto reality. The time for a new mode is then at hand (Nichols, 1991:66).

In his more recent books, Bill Nichols talks about the rhetorical nature of the documentary, although he does so hesitantly and with some inconsistencies. In Representing Reality (1991) he separates rhetoric from style: “Rhetoric moves us away from style, to the other end of the axis between author and viewer” (Nichols, 1991:181) and he associates it with argumentation and persuasion of a more ideological and almost misleading nature: “rhetoric involves making a persuasive case, not describing and assessing damaging or less appealing facts, though their disclosure would be necessary” (Nichols, 1991:183).

In his book Introduction to documentary (2001), Nichols continues to argue, less forcefully but directly, that the documentary is a rhetorical form and cites several classical figures, such as Cicero, Quintilian and Aristotle to justify this claim. Furthermore, he argues that the voice of the documentary is the voice of oratory: the voice of the filmmaker who adopts a position on aspects of the historical world and who is convincing about his own merits. This position contradicts the aspects of the world that are open to debate (i.e. those not based on scientific evidence, which depend on understanding, interpretation, values and judgment). Nichols points out that this mode of representation requires a way of speaking that is fundamentally different to logic and narrative. This is rhetoric, although he once again associates it with argument, and clearly separates it from scientific and literary discourses, which are also always present (Nichols, 2001:49). There are six modes of representation in the documentary described by Nichols:

1. The expository mode. This is associated with the classic documentary, and based on illustrating an argument using images. It is a rhetorical rather than an aesthetic mode, aimed directly at the viewer, using text titles or phrases to guide the image and to emphasize the idea of objectivity and logical argument. It emerged from the disappointment generated by the poor entertainment quality of fiction films. Key examples of this mode are the socio-ethnographic expeditions (anthropology in documentary films, especially in the work of Robert Flaherty) and the British documentary movement (social objectives in documentary film, led by John Grierson and the documentarists of the British school) (Nichols, 1991:68-72 and Nichols, 2001:105-109).

2. The poetic mode. Its origin is linked to the emergence of artistic avant-gardes in cinema, and that is why it uses many of the devices typical of other arts (fragmentation, subjective impressions, surrealism, etc.). It is a mode that has reappeared at different times and which is experiencing a resurgence in many contemporary documentaries. It aims to create a specific mood and tone rather than to provide the viewer with information, as is the case with the expository and observational modes. This mode includes the avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s (the aesthetic objective in documentary film led by Walter Ruttman, Jean Vigo and Joris Ivens) and the films verging on art and neo-realism (the artistic and poetic purpose of the documentary language as embodied by the contributions of Arne Sucksdorf and Bert Haanstra) (Nichols, 1991:72-78 and Nichols, 2001:102-105).

3. The reflexive mode. The purpose of this mode is to raise the audience’s awareness of the means of representation itself and the devices that have given it authority. The film is not considered a window on the world, but is instead considered a construct or representation of it, and it aims for the viewer to adopt a position that is critical of any form of representation. Nichols considers this to be the most self-critical and self-conscious mode. It arose from the desire to make the conventions of representation more evident, and to put to the test the impression of reality that the other modes usually transmitted without any problem (in his first study in 1991, Nichols established four basic modes based on the book The Social Documentary in Latin America by Julianne Burton). This is the most introspective mode – it uses many of the resources found in other types of documents, but it takes them to the limit, so that the viewer’s attention is focused on both the resource and the effect. This mode includes the news documented in Russia in the early years of the twentieth century (the ideological objective in documentary film, led by Dziga Vertov) and some more contemporary authors such as Jill Godmilow and Raul Ruiz, among others (Nichols, 1991:93-114 and Nichols, 2001:125-130).

4. The observational mode. This mode is represented by the French Cinema Verite and the American Direct Cinema film movements, which despite their major differences, both benefited from technological developments (portable, lightweight and synchronous equipment) in the early 1960s. Together with a more open and coherent set of filmic and narrative theories, these enabled a different approach to the subject matter, and the directors prioritized a spontaneous and direct observation of reality. It arose as a result of disagreement with the moralizing aim of the expository documentary. This mode allowed the director to record reality without becoming involved in what people were doing when they were not explicitly looking into the camera. Of particular interest in this category are the Cinema Verite movement in France, the Direct Cinema movement in the U.S.A. and Candid Eye in Canada (the sociological focus of the documentary film, led by Jean Rouch, Edgar Morin and Mario Ruspolli, among others) (Nichols, 1991:66 and Nichols, 2001:109-115).

5. The participatory mode (in its interactive origins). This mode was mainly used in ethnographic film and in social theories of participatory investigation, and presents the relationship between the filmmaker and the filmed subject. The director becomes an investigator and enters unknown territory, participates in the lives of others, and gains direct and in-depth experience and reflection from the film. This mode of representation is present in films such as Celovek kinoapparatom (Vertov, 1929) and Chronique d’un été (Rouch and Morin, 1960). The observational mode limited the director to the present and required a disciplined detachment from events. The participatory documentary makes the director’s perspective clearer, involving him/her in the discourse that is being produced. The directors wanted to make contact with individuals in a more direct way, without returning to the classical exhibitory format, and this led to interview styles and various interventionist tactics, which enabled the producer to participate more actively in the events. He could also become the narrator of the story, or explain what happened by means of witnesses and/or experts. These comments were often added to archive footage to facilitate reconstructions and to prevent endless and omniscient commentary. The outstanding figures were Jean Rouch, Emile de Antonio and Connie Filed, among others (Nichols, 1991:78-93 and Nichols, 2001:115-125).

6. The performance mode. The final mode introduced by Nichols, which appeared relatively recently, calls into question the foundations of traditional documentary film and raises doubts about the boundaries that have traditionally been established by the genre of fiction. It focuses interest on expressiveness, poetry and rhetoric, rather than on the desire for realistic representation. The emphasis is shifted to the evocative qualities of the text, rather than its representational capacity, and once again focuses on more contemporary artistic avant-gardes. This new mode of representation emerged from the previous modes and the shortcomings or flaws in the classic modes, according to various authors. An obvious example is the American director Michael Moore, among others (Nichols, 1994:92-106 and Nichols, 2001:130-138).

In short, Nichols says that each mode uses the resources of narrative and realism in a different way, and uses common ingredients to produce different kinds of text with ethical issues, textual structures and standard expectations among the viewers.

George Landow’s approach to hypertext

George Landow’s approach to hypertext is based on an analysis of the concepts set out in two of his seminal works: Hyper/Text/Theory (1997), one of the first canonical books on hypertext, in which he sets out much of his theoretical argument, which relates literary theory and hypertext; and Hypertext 3.0: critical theory and new media in an era of globalization (2005), which updates and expands a collection of texts compiled by the author on various aspects of hypertext. The latter book was published a decade ago under the title of Hypertext 2.0: The convergence of contemporary critical theory and technology (1995). As Landow himself says in the introduction to the book, it was necessary to produce new versions of it (2.0 and 3.0), in order to update and expand the concepts discussed in the first version (1.0). George Landow is a writer who has provided many resources available online 3, which enable a precise approach to hypertext theory, literary theory and the limitations of the traditional ways of teaching.

Hypertext and literary theory

One of the central points in his analysis focuses on aspects related to literary theory. The title of his book, Hypertext 2.0: The convergence of contemporary critical theory and technology (1995) refers to the process of “convergence” between contemporary literary theory (Barthes, Derrida, Bajt, Jameson, etc.) and elements of the new digital medium. The limitations of the traditional media have become obsolete, as the new medium provides an approach and implementation featuring its entire technological essence, as it includes a new form of communication – hypertext. One of the basic assumptions in Landow’s research is that the limits that have always been attributed to literary work were not entirely its own, but were instead determined by the medium in which they were produced.

Another major contribution by Landow’s work is his suggestion that in literary theory (and in some associated practices) there is a desire to end the limitations imposed by the printed form on the work. As examples, he mentions the search for the end of linearity, fragmentation and dispersion, which can be found in some works that optimistically anticipated the possibilities of a new medium and which are embodied in hypertext.
In Hyper/Text/Theory (1997), Landow sets out to coordinate and bring together this collection of texts, in order to give a sense of linear narrative to the book, beginning with a more descriptive and theoretical aspect, and ending with the more graphic part, using numerous practical examples in order to apply the formulated theories. In this book, he describes what hypertext is and its implications for society. Using the definition of a digital hypertext system, the work covers the concept of nonlinearity, by which it is possible to access one piece of information from another by means of the link. This provides the reader with many alternative pathways when seeking information, and ends the conventions that prevailed prior to the creation of hypertext. According to Landow, hypertext consists of several individual blocks of text, which enables it to be linked with modern literary theory and criticism. According to the author, this phenomenon is the result of dissatisfaction with the printed book and hierarchical thinking.

In Hypertext 3.0: critical theory and new media in an era of globalization (2005), Landow updates the canonical text on the theory of hypertext that he wrote in the late twentieth century. In the 1990s, and in the early years of this century, he made an innovative contribution because he was the first to establish relationships and parallels between literary theory and computer technology. In this third edition (Landow, 2005), he includes new material on the development of Internet-related technologies, and places special emphasis on its increasing global expansion and the social and political implications of this trend, which he analyses from a postcolonial perspective. He also discusses blogs, interactive films, and the relationship between hypermedia and games.

If it is to comply with hypertext theory, according to Landow (2005:271), linearity must be ended completely, and a kind of forest created that gives readers options when choosing their pathway and personalizing their reading. Hypertext narrative takes on many forms, depending on the reader’s choice, participation and development, the inclusion of hypermedia, the complexity of the structure in the network and the degree of variation in the plot. As a result of all these factors, hypertext calls into question literary and cultural theory and schools of thought that have prevailed since Aristotle. In this new paradigm, works are not structured in terms of a beginning, an end, a sequence or a single unit (Landow, 2005:274). Recent printed texts and new fiction are now creating a new perception that will tend to replace the old texts in literary theory. Landow (2005:276), referring to modern writers, says:

One should feel threatened by hypertext, just as writers of romances and epics should have felt threatened by the novel and Venetian writers of Latin tragedies should have felt threatened by The Divine Comedy and its Italian text (Landow, 2005:276).

New technologies make hypertext possible as an open, nonlinear and infinite system
According to Landow, and based on the premise that technology determines forms of thought and their expression, the arrival of a new technology leads to new cultural forms. Hypertext, with its networks of nodes and links, enables the hierarchy of the printed structure to be overcome. Because it is not a closed system, it shifts responsibility for decisions to the receiver. Hypertext is an open system that allows the receiver to construct their own reading pathways, jumping from lexia to lexia, according to their own personal interests. Written text has a beginning and an end, but in hypertext this is not exactly the case – they are created at each reading, depending on the pathways created by the reader. According to Landow, text is coming to an end and hypertext is continuing to expand, thanks to the ability of both its authors and even its readers to add new lexias. The importance of this discourse no longer lies in its present innovation, since most interactive technologies are collaborative, but in the fact that Landow had already formulated and articulated this approach and articulate about literary theory two decades ago. (Landow 1995)

According to Landow (2005:155), the structure of hypertext contains no logical order or an established pattern for reading. Navigation devices can provide a starting point and orientation, but the whole is made up of individual textual units, which with others construct a nonlinear metatext. A version of a classic text presents a centrality with a main text, and the others are appendices that complement the text. In hypertext, the appendices become other equally important main texts.

Redefinition of relationships and the new relationships between authorities
Landow also discusses the new political relations established by hypertext. He believes that text implicitly entails specific power relations between the different parties involved (editor, author, reader); however, hypertext requires a redefinition of the relationships that are established between them, and gives greater decision-making power to the reader, who can then choose different ways of reading (Landow, 2005: 83). And in conclusion, he says:

Electronic linking shifts the boundaries between one text and another as well as between the author and the reader and between the teacher and the student. It also has radical effects on our experience of author, text, and work, redefining each. Its effects are so basic, so radical, that it reveals that many of our most cherished, most commonplace, ideas and attitudes toward literature and literary production turn out to be the result of that particular form of information technology and technology of cultural memory that has provided the setting for them (Landow, 2005:83).

In this regard, when establishing divisions to classify the characteristics of the genre being studied, we have based ourselves on these new relations, and as Landow says, we have given more importance than is traditionally conferred to the role played by the receiver of the work, who is no longer described as a passive spectator, but instead becomes an active user and participant. Landow’s assumption, which is also present in the forthcoming analysis by Xavier Berenguer, is central in defining and characterizing the interactive documentary and presenting a suitable analysis model, which includes decision-making by the interactor as an essential part of the navigational and interactive process.

In this respect, authorship becomes decentralized and/or shared. According to Landow (2005:167), the figure of the active reader means that active participation by an active author is necessary, with the latter becoming a reader of the readers who can choose to review, link, expand or reduce their inputs to the network. Landow points out:

Like contemporary critical theory, hypertext reconfigures – rewrites – the author in several obvious ways. First of all, the figure of the hypertext author approaches, even if it does not merge with, that of the reader: the functions of reader and writer become more deeply entwined with each other than ever before. This transformation and the near merging of roles is but the latest stage in the convergence of what had been two very different activities. […] Hypertext, which creates an active and even intrusive reader, carries this convergence of activities one step closer to completion; but in so doing, it infringes on the power of the writer, removing some of it and granting it to the reader (Landow, 2005:167).

Offline and online applications: a natural evolution

Landow proposes two hypertext models. First, there is the closed model which has various links, but which is linked to itself, and prevents the user from accessing external content. The second model is open and allows the user to access content beyond the original hypertext. The book extols the virtues of the CD-ROM, as it enables a great deal of information to be stored in a very small space, but it highlights the problem of access to information, because the limited storage space on this medium means regular replacement of the CD-ROM is necessary. Landow praises the usefulness of networking, because this enables various computers to access information without having to rely on external data media.

Hypertext can be classified in two basic structures. The first has a linear direction of information, while the second involves scattered information, i.e. in a network. The axial structure is the result of a linear organization of information, but if we consider the links between the various axial structures, these create a networked structure, which includes a whole range of varied items. This is due to hypertext’s greater capacity to reuse information. Landow also highlights the advantages of creating an electronic as compared to a paper edition, as data recovery is much faster and it can be linked to with other content, to obtain additional information.

Multiple deployment of the hypertext work: critical aspects of authorship

According to Landow, hypertext offers readers the opportunity to choose their pathway from several possibilities, and dissolves the rigid single-direction base of traditional literature. A core idea in his approach is ascertaining what he believes is one of the main problems of hypertext: the fact that a user can choose multiple paths randomly, but often does not read the entire text available because of the many possible branches of information. This means that two people can read the same text and reach different conclusions, depending on the route they have followed.

There are four types of non-linear texts: simple nonlinear text, discontinuous nonlinear text or hypertext, and determinate cybertext and indeterminate cybertext.

The most basic form of nonlinear text can be found in a work that branches and provides two different paths to choose from. Because of the many possibilities and variants offered by hypertext, it is possible that some texts go unnoticed or are never read. Despite all the theories surrounding hypertext, it remains a simple system since it is only a link between various concepts. However, it is possible to make a distinction between three varieties: the general concept, the implanted concept (often a computer application) and the text contained in a system (and defined by it). When we talk about hypertext, attempts are often made to link it with a physical space, but the essential concept of hypertext lies in the non-existence of space as it merely jumps from one concept to another.

A cybertext is a text that modifies itself, although there are some functions that are controlled by a cybernetic, human or mechanical agent. In general terms, they can be classified as two types: those that can be anticipated and those that cannot. An example can be seen in word processing programs, which give an answer based on questions from the user, and thus establish a conversation between man and machine, based on the latter’s artificial intelligence. As a result, it is possible to state that the action determines the argument/response and the user determines its pathway.

Non-linearity can be defined as a figure of speech related to the levels of the branch, link, the permutation, calculation and polygenesis. In addition, this line of discourse can also be divided using the story line, according to the number of references between them and whether they are singular, recurrent, multiple singular or iterative. All these tools are very useful for analyzing hypertexts. At this point, it is necessary to mention the various levels that enable a story to be represented, such as the discourse that has elapsed, the discourse that has been stored the story that has elapsed and the story stored, in which the items that have elapsed refer to a single event, which progresses on a linear basis, while the items stored are potential stories that can be developed in parallel with the main plot.

In short, Landow (2005:269) argues that the potential qualities of hypertext and hypermedia are multilinearity, their multiplicity of voices, conceptual wealth and a degree of control and centrality for the reader (especially with regard to informative hypertext.) And he adds:

In addition, as we have seen, examples of hyperfiction and hyperpoetry reveal other sources of quality: individual links and entire webs that appear coherent, appropriate gaps among lexia, effective navigation and reader orientation, the persuasive metaphoricity and the exploration – and testing – of the limits of the medium (Landow, 2005:269).

Hypertext and rhetoric

Readers interpret the text they read and adapt it to their context, which is distinguishing feature of the process of reading hypertext. On that basis, it is possible to establish a parallel between hypertext and rhetoric, which follows patterns for performing specific operations, such as inventio, dispositio, elocutio, actio and memoria. Gunnar Liestol’s (1997) correlation of the five phases of rhetoric with hypertext is listed below:

Inventio: selects and produces information in various media.
Dispositio: combines items and structures links.
Elocutio: responsible for the presentation of content.
Actio: interaction of the user with information.
Memoria: graphic representation for navigation.

According to another basic idea in the book Hyper/Text/Theory (1997), although hypertext appears to be disordered, the content is in fact ordered as regards the position of the nodes. Readers can thus choose their own path depending on their interests. The nonlinearity of hypertext is therefore relative since it is also necessary to take its order in space and time into consideration. However, there is no strict order in navigation, but there are a number of criteria that influence the reader in terms of choosing one pathway rather than another. This is similar to articulated language, depending on the elapsed discourse.

With recent technological breakthroughs, hypertext has brought new qualities related to the world of written language, and has strengthened the link between the author and the reader. This has redefined the authority of the author and given the reader more control. Hypertext has provided various resources, such as reading, copying and browsing databases, but the information remains fixed and unalterable. By contrast, hypermedia allows the contents to be changed, with the advantages and disadvantages that this may entail, as they can be modified according to the individual preferences of the person editing the contents.

At this point it is possible to apply the concepts of diegesis (when someone speaks and does not conceal the fact that it is they who are telling the story) and mimesis (when someone tells a story, but creates the illusion that they are not the speaker) to the narrative of hypermedia. In conclusion, we can highlight three main aspects that both hypertext and hypermedia seek to fulfill: interactivity between the user and the information, integration of various media (text, images, sounds, etc.) and inclusion of a context.

The problem of defining a clear ending

Due to the linking of various content in hypertext, it is not always possible to define a clear ending on a hypertext pathway. Hypertext therefore does not lead to a clearly defined ending, but users are instead able to link to other content, depending on their interests.

The classic ending can be summarized as the interruption in a story. The story thus ends at a specific point by means of the suspension of the narrative. Various experimental works emerged during the twentieth century that address the issue of the ending of the work, which contradicted it or even failed to provide an ending in the strictest sense. Examples include the novels Rayuela (Julio Cortazar 1963) and The good soldier (Ford Madox Ford, 1915). These works create a direct link with the reader and radically change the established foundations of literary tradition, and make a complete break with the predominant conventions.

This therefore involves greater responsibility on the part of the writer, but also more power for the reader. In the ideal hypertext, in which reading is a lush forest of interconnected lexical units, the readers must decide where it ends while reading (Landow, 2005:286). Sometimes they do so because of fatigue and at other times due to logic. Landow adds:

In fact, the tendency of many a twentieth-century work to leave its readers with little sense of closure – either because they do not learn of the “final” outcome of a particular narrative or because they leave the story before any outcome that as readers and writers we have long learned to live (and read) with more open-endedness than discussions of narrative form might lead us to expect (Landow, 2005:287).

An example is the work Afternoon (1990), by Michael Joyce. The reader is left to decide the ending. This hypertextual text contains multiple characters, scenes, situations, conflicting roles and various factors which readers use to create a time sequence. The most dramatic parts are at the start and end of other stories surrounding them (Landow, 2006:288)

Hypertext narratives can generate several alternative endings, which can adapt to the choices of their readers. Each narrative pathway is therefore determined by the decisions taken by the reader, and there is therefore a different ending for each type of action.

Completing the reading of a work such as Afternoon gives readers the feeling that the story lacks an ending, since despite the fact that a reading pathway has been completed, not all the alternatives on offer have been explored. An incomplete ending has therefore been reached, because the reader has not read the entire story and has been forced to take certain decisions at specific points in the narrative, meaning that the other possibilities offered by the text have been ignored.

Broadly speaking, it is possible to conclude that interactive narratives do not provide a definitive ending, in the way that printed works do. This is in addition to the fact that the reader’s experience is not guided or determined, but instead there is some degree of freedom in decision making. We can therefore see that hypertext narratives have an advantage over linear works, as they provide an opportunity for new experiences every time the story is read, because there is some scope for choosing actions. It is claimed that readers must choose an option to reach a possible ending, and not allow themselves to be influenced by a pathway based on an apparent choice that has not really been made by the user. The hypertext reader chooses an option rather than another depending on their expectations. A pathway is therefore chosen based on the belief that the choice will satisfy the reader’s own anxiety for information. However, the problem that arises is that users will never satisfy their anxiety for information, because this information increases and expands with new content, which makes the reader undertake a seemingly endless journey.

In conclusion, according to Landow, the advent of the Internet has had very significant effects in schools, universities and institutions, but we are still a long way from the global interconnection that it can provide. He stresses that it is a mistake to consider digitization of content simply as an advantage in terms of portability, visualization and accessibility, as he says that we are witnessing a cultural and literary change that will reinforce our learning and educational skills, change our consumer habits, our human relationships and our interrelations with the entire world around us.

One of his core hypotheses is that hypertext, defined as lexical units that are interconnected by links, blurs the boundaries between reader and writer. Hypertext allows readers to participate much more actively in the narrative, choosing their own pathway and being able to enrich the text by means of contextualization, expanding the context and/or developing themes that may or may not be directly related to the text concerned. Hypertext thus promotes cooperation and collaboration between authors and readers.

Arnau Gifreu Castells (PhD)
Research Affiliate, MIT Open Documentary Lab


1. The origin of the four modes began as a distinction between the direct and indirect modes in Nichols’ work Ideology and the image. Julianne Burton reviewed and put the finishing touches to the initial distinction, and made it into a four-part categorisation, in “Toward a History of Social Documentary in Latín America”, in her anthology The Social Documentary in Latín America (1990).

2. In the field of literary theory and its integration using hypertext thanks to new technologies, Landow is one of the undeniable academic leading lights. Landow is Professor of English language and art history at Brown University (Providence, USA). Indeed, his academic background enables him to cover a complex field: the application of new hypertextual technologies in the field of humanities, and specifically in literature. Landow’s analysis includes well-defined areas such as the conceptual development of hypertext, its implications regarding literary theory and institutions, educational applications and political issues.

3. Landow is a writer with a high profile on the Internet. As well as the many sources available for consultation containing related information, the three pages he has created himself are worthy of special mention: an educational website (victorianweb) that includes more than 40,000 documents on art, architecture, design, economics, politics, social history, religion, technology, science, etc. (see; another with materials on postcolonial theory and literature, culture and society in Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, India and other regions that have produced literature in English (see; and finally, the most interesting from the perspective of this study, a website that includes content relating to the history of information technology, literature and the theory of new media, hypertext fiction and nonfiction, and discussions of cyborgs and cyberpunk science fiction in fiction, film and television. It is the result of large-scale projects undertaken by students, and includes hundreds of documents and images (see the following web address:


BURTON, Julianne (1990), The Social documentary in Latin America. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

LANDOW, George P. (1995), Hipertexto. Barcelona: Paidós.

— (1997), Teoría del Hipertexto.Barcelona: Paidós Ibérica.
— (1997), Hypertext 2.0: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
— (2005), Hipertexto 3.0: teoría crítica y nuevos medios en la era de la globalización. Barcelona: Paidós.

NICHOLS, Bill (1991), La representación de la realidad: Cuestiones y Conceptos sobre el Documental. Barcelona: Paidós.

— (1994), Blurred Boundaries. Question of meaning in contemporary culture. Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
— (2001), Introduction to documentary. Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

ROUCH, Jean; MORIN, Edgar.Chronique d´un été (1960)

VERTOV Dziga. Celovek kinoapparatom (1929)