Monday, March 24, 2008

Est-ethics of Counter-Documentary

by joanne richardson

DOCUMENTARY. DOCUMENT. EVIDENCE, EXAMPLE, PROOF, LESSON, FROM DOCERE, TO TEACH. Documentary film production has wavered between the contradictory illuminations of its etymological shadow. As an extension of photography, documentary is, if we can believe Roland Barthes, "indifferent to all intermediaries"–mimesis accomplished. Documentary codes have been developed to create an irresistible sense of immediacy, objectivity, and authenticity: synchronized sound, long takes with hand held cameras, wide angles, unobtrusive editing, standardized 24-frame speed, use of newsreel footage, oral witness testimonials, the disembodied talking heads of those in a position to know, the centralization of perspective. Such technologies of truth, once invented, become naturalized. In the documentary’s attempt to capture the movement of the real, the mediating activity of the... [more]

Joanne Richardson
Born in Bucharest, grew up in New York, currently living between Cluj, Romania and Berlin. Founder of D Media ( in Romania, an NGO for the production and dissemination of art and digital culture. Editor of Subsol webzine (, and author of essays on social movements, postcommunism, immaterial labor, copyleft, tactical media, the history of the avant-gardes, and experimental film & video in Eastern Europe. Recent videos on nationalism, delocalization, migration, activism, precarity and borders.

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