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Patricia Zimmermann publishes new book, Documentary Across Platforms: Reverse Engineering Media, Place, and Politics

Contributed by Karen Armstrong on 10/08/19 

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Patricia Zimmermann, Professor of Screen Studies and Codirector of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, has published a new book, Documentary Across Platforms: Reverse Engineering Media, Place, and Politics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2019).

In Documentary Across Platforms, Zimmermann, a film/video/new media historian and theorist offers a glimpse into the ever-evolving constellation of practices known as "documentary" and the way in which they investigate, engage with, and interrogate the world. 

Collected here for the first time are essays and speculations about documentary, experimental, and new media. These essays envision documentary as a complex ecology composed of different technologies, sets of practices, and specific relationships to communities, engagement, politics, and social struggles. 

Through the lens of reverse engineering—the concept that ideas just like objects can be disassembled to learn how they work and then rebuilt into something new and better—Zimmermann explores how numerous small-scale documentary works present strategies of intervention into existing power structures. 

Adaptive to their context, modular, and unfixed, the documentary practices she explores exploit both sophisticated high-end professional and consumer-grade amateur technologies, moving through different political terrains, different platforms, and different exhibition contexts. 

Together these essays demonstrate documentary’s role as a conceptual practice to think through how the world is organized and to imagine ways that it might be reorganized with actions, communities, and ideas.

Patricia Zimmermann publishes new book, Documentary Across Platforms: Reverse Engineering Media, Place, and Politics | 1 Comments |
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Patricia Zimmermann publishes new book, Documentary Across Platforms:Reverse Engineering Media, Place, and Politics Comment from abarlas on 10/09/19
Congratulations, Patty! What wonderful news.