Nonfiction transmedia

Below is a call for articles for a ‘Nonfiction Transmedia’ issue in a Journal. This call is useful in regards to my own work around ‘nonfiction design’. Currently I am co-teaching a design-media studio titled ‘nonfiction design’. This studio is a collaboration between communication design and media students at RMIT and involves working with an external client/organisation.

The call:

CfP VIEW Journal Vol. 5, Issue 10 / 2016
Non-Fiction Transmedia

Over the last decade, the technological tool set for audiovisual storytelling has vastly expanded. On-going developments in fields including data visualisation, social media, interactive video, second screens, haptic devices, artificial intelligence and virtual reality have led to a proliferation of opportunities for media makers to reconceptualise linear narrative formats, to embed them in non-linear structures and networks, or to abandon them altogether.

The term “non-fiction” has been used in film language to describe movies that are not in the area that the industry and the audience define as “fictional cinema”. Audiovisual non-fiction is a vast field containing documentary, journalism, film essays, educational videos, museum exhibitions, scientific films, institutional, industrial or propaganda videos, etc. Over the last years, interactive digital media have greatly affected the logics of production, exhibition and reception of non-fiction audiovisual works, leading to the emergence of a new area called “interactive and transmedia non-fiction”. One of its key points is that it can deal with factual material in such a way that it influences and transforms the real world around us. While the audiovisual non-fiction field has been partially studied, a few years ago emerged a new field focusing on interactive and transmedia non-fiction narratives, an unexplored territory that needs new theories and taxonomies to differentiate from its audiovisual counterpart.

How have established media organisations responded to these developments? While some have provided support networks, funding, and online broadcast opportunities to help foster experimentation in the cross-over domain of ‘transmedia’, other media organisations – including many public service and commercial broadcasters, archives, and publishers – have stuck to known business models. The result is that many areas of transmedia (for example, interactive documentary) remain niche offerings.

With this issue we aim to offer a scholarly perspective on the emergence of transmedia forms, their technological and aesthetic characteristics, the types of audience engagement they engender, the possibilities they create for engagement with archival content, the technological predecessors that they may or may not have emerged from, and the institutional and creative milieux in which they thrive (or don’t thrive). We welcome contributions from all perspectives including but not restricted to aesthetic, sociological, industrial, media archaeological, and audience/reception studies perspectives.

*** Proposals are invited on (but not limited to) ***

– What predecessors for transmedia storytelling can be found in television’s past
– What support mechanisms have enabled the current wave of productions and could in future foster a further European (re-)naissance of the form
– What role have audiovisual archive materials to play in the expanded possibilities of transmedia storytelling
How have media producers and consumers responded to the opportunities for non-linear delivery made possible by the latest wave of interactive video production apps
– What technological, conceptual, institutional, or other limitations are currently at play in global transmedia culture
– How could transmedia storytelling benefit/boost the non-fiction field
– Exploration of main fields of non-fiction storytelling through a transmedia approach: documentary, journalism, essay, museums, education, etc.
– Interactions between fiction & non-fiction in transmedia
– …

*** Practicals ***

Contributions are encouraged from authors with different kinds of expertise and interests in television and media history.

Paper proposals (max. 500 words) are due on March 12th, 2016.
A notice of acceptance will be sent to authors in the 1st week of April.
Articles (3 – 6,000 words) will be due on July 3d, 2016.
Longer articles are welcome, given that they comply with the journal’s author guidelines.

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