The concept of ‘design thinking’ that has been recently adopted by business and some corners of the humanities is attractive because design is close enough to what is already done to be understood, yet different enough to offer the promise of the performative agency that is craved. My discipline (let’s just call it media studies) has exhausted itself thinking it knows what media means, while media has resolutely, indifferently, joyously, and grumpily, mutated around it. The web, smartphones, spotify, youtube, blogging. All this was done and all we could do was watch and talk about it. We’re still scratching around, trying to shift from a representative to a performative idiom (Andrew Pickering), and ‘design thinking’ is part of that scratching around.
What happens to our understanding of documentary, and documentary’s history, if we think of it as a history of capacities to store energy? Cameras have motors, the history, crudely, is human powered (hand cranked), clockwork, electric – large batteries, then smaller. For some sorts of documentary this also applies to the refrigeration necessary to protect film stock in tropical locations, or keep it insulated in cold.
I love it when a Kindle Edition of a book costs nearly as much as a Kindle. A Companion to Documentary Film. Could be mine for $169.52. Sure hope the editors and authors are rolling in the royalties.
RMIT have a variety of significant competitive scholarships available for outstanding Phd applicants. There are scholarships for Australian (and New Zealand) citizens and the rest of the world. To be eligible you need a Masters, or a four year undergraduate degree, or equivalent. If you think you’re eligible, interested, are an outstanding applicant, and would like to work with me (here’s some of my work) and several other PhD students on research somewhere around the intersection of interactive documentary, media philosophy, and media materialism (new materialism, et al) then please get in touch.
These scholarships include tuition wavers (for non Australian students) and a stipend.
Please note, I have no influence over scholarship decisions. These happen at senior levels of the university. But you need to apply to be considered! (Gotta be in it to win it.) Some of these scholarships include relocation money and travel funds.