Spreadable Media, Social Media and the Viral/Virtual Witness (Mar 12/Aug 9-12 2010)
CFP: Spreadable Media, Social Media and the Viral/Virtual Witness
Visible Evidence XVII Conference
August 9-12, 2010
Panel Chairs: Sam Gregory, WITNESS; Patricia R. Zimmermann, Ithaca College
Deadline: March 12
This panel invites explorations of how spreadable media, social media, and viral/virtual witnessing both continue traditional documentary debates and open up new challenges in the areas of theories, aesthetic forms, open space formations, ethics and human rights. New circulatory networks of media, new participants in documentation and documentary and ubiquitous tools for film-making are impacting on the possibilities for creating human rights action through media, on our understanding of the generation and reach of testimonial story and visual evidence, and on the established traditions of documentary. Where do issues of circulation, aggregation and remix intersect with human rights values, documentary tradition and real-life social change? What is at stake in the new mutating economies of representing and circulating other peoples' suffering and our own? What new conceptual models of advocacy media do these new media ecologies of networks and circulatory systems necessitate? What is at play in the transition from curated space to viral space? And what are the implications of circulation rather than fixed exhibition? What place does aggregated user-generated content occupy in a landscape of advocacy media? And what new palettes for advocacy media are being invented, developed, imagined and mobilized in the current new media ecology? What ethical issues are emerging in this new sphere?
Sam Gregory is Program Director at WITNESS (www.witness.org ) which empowers people to use video and online technologies as tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change. He was the lead editor on Video for Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism (Pluto Press, 2005). In 2007 he lead the development of the curriculum for WITNESS' first ever Video Advocacy Institute. Videos he has produced have been screened at the US Congress, the UK Houses of Parliament, the United Nations and at film festivals worldwide. He has worked as a television researcher/producer, and for development organizations in Nepal and Vietnam, and holds a BA from Oxford University in History and Spanish, and a Master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is on the Board of the US Campaign for Burma, and the Tactical Technology Collective.
Patricia R. Zimmermann is Professor in the Department of Cinema, Photography and Media Arts at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York. She is currently the Shaw Foundation Professor in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is the author of Reel Families: A Social History of Amateur Film (Indiana University Press, 1995), States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), and coeditor of Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories (University of California Press, 2008). She was coeditor with Erik Barnouw of The Flaherty: Four Decades in the Cause of Independent Media (Wide Angle, 1996). Her book on digital arts, Public Domains: Cinemas, Histories, Visualities (Temple University Press, forthcoming), explores the relationship between historiography, political engagements and digital art practices. She is co-director of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF).