“Hmm..this might be controversial but it strikes me that Union Docs, an NYC based documentary arts collaborative, are flirting with something one might loosely call documentary formalism.
Well, I’m a sucker for formalism, the proviso of course being it generates something I care about. This does (although it seems to pushing the far boundary of the ‘documentary’ category – I’d be interested in UD’s thoughts about what constitutes this).”
Appreciated that a lot and wanted to respond with a quick defense of the Whiteboard animations as UnionDocs, a documentary arts collaborative, productions.
Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to “document” reality.”
Right – so that doesn’t work. All three videos have fictional, albeit abstract, settings. The animation, which shows disembodied writing on a whiteboard, is an obvious technical dodge away from reality. And the voices you hear, including seemingly ambient human sounds like coughs and sighs, were recorded from a script and layered on top of the video.
From Wikipedia again, after I clicked on the rather evasively en-quoted “document” from the previous description:
A document contains information. It often refers to an actual product of writing or recording and is usually intended to communicate or store collections of data. Documents are often the focus and concern of business administration and government administration. The word is also used as a verb as “documenting” describes the process of making a document.
So the switch from verb to noun is helpful. The content of the Whiteboard animations is mostly bits and pieces of documents we came across in a variety of libraries, websites and notebooks. To a degree, while general directions like nation, nationalism, knowledge, communication, etc. were in our minds while we searched for material that seemed to ring like information, the actual bits and pieces we included and left out are interchangeable. This allowed for the structure of the pieces to be created intuitively, and this fact may be interesting to develop. If we imagine a documentary arts collaborative starting sometimes from the ‘document’ instead of ‘documenting,’ the field might be a lot more open. It could include the tension between information and instinct, between what we know and what we can prove. I like the idea of making sense idiosyncratic, and of taking feelings and hunches as seriously as they’re experienced.
UnionDocs definitely has an interest in documentary film and in documenting reality. And it’s important to me not to downplay the value and power in documentary for social justice work and education, or deny the body of startling formal innovations a lot of great artists and filmmakers have developed to tell real stories. But I think there’s also space for engaging uses of the raw conceptual materials that compose the documentary field, and I like to think these videos are playing in that space. http://ari-kurniawan.mhs.narotama.ac.id/2018/02/02/aldara-buy-online-uk/ Purchase Buy