Patricia R. Zimmermann, professor of screen studies and codirector of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, delivered one of the closing plenary addresses at the What is Documentary? Conference at the University of Oregon, April 23-26, 2014.
With her collaborator and co-author Helen De Michiel, a new media artist, designer, and writer based in the Bay Area, she presented a talked entitled “Towards a Theory and Practice of Open Space New Media Documentary.”
The presentation theorized documentary’s digital turn towards participatory, collaborative, community-based, and iterative projects in new interfaces that move beyond the ethical conundrums, concerns, and formats of traditional analog forms. These works migrate across the analog, the digital, and the embodied. The projects analyzed address conflictual social and political issues in non-confrontational strategies that invite dialogic communication.