A Pixelated Reality – Documentary between Net-Distribution, Popular Culture and the Avant-Garde

Dissertation published 2014.
Layout: Lasse Krog Møller
Aarhus University

The dissertation presents an analysis of new documentary phenomena apparent in various exemplars that reveal connections between media-specific developments and the aesthetic expressions that define—or in some cases transcend— the genre and its institutional conventions. This involves studying a variety of film subjects and formats ranging from mobile phone recordings of the War in Iraq, a personal film dairy of the 2008 US presidential election, 9/11 conspiracy theory documentaries, popular cultural depictions of surveillance society, and an online participatory remake of one of the most significant avant-garde documentaries ever made.
What these, at first glance, very different documentary practices and the resulting films have in common is a strong connection to the new forms of distribution made possible through the Internet. A multitude of footage—old or new—has been made available as digital clips on video sharing websites. This does not only transform the materiality of the medium itself, it creates a whole new archival film practice and media-institutional framework.

The dissertation comprises a short introduction, six peer-reviewed articles written and published 2009 - 2014 and a concluding discussion of the central topics addressed in my research.

Table of contents:

Fragments of Reality, Memories of Fiction
War, Lies and Video
The Never-ending Disaster
Paranoid, moi?
V-v-Vertov R-r-Re-made
Documentary in the Expanded Field

212 pp. illus. B/W.