We’re happy and we know it: Documentary, data, montage

This article is concerned with the social praxis of documentary in the sea of ‘ubiquitous data’ that is both consequence and driver of online social mediation. The topic is given importance by the morphing of the character of video in the context of the latest web coding language, HTML5. Until now, web video has been impervious to its networked context, reproducing the conditions of the TV screen in a hypermediated space. Now existing databases and live information drawn from social media can be connected to the documentary environment, offering opportunities for the production of new kinds of knowledge and application. The affordances of networked connectivity offer the potential to recontextualize documentary material through mobilizing the enormous co-creative potential of human discourse captured in the Web. The challenge in these marriages of mass media form and rhizomatic network is to find new ways of shaping attention into a coherent experience. To do so, we have to reinvent the social praxis of documentary, creating new visual and informational grammars.

Dovey, J.; Rose, M. (2012) “We’re happy and we know it: Documentary, data, montage”. In: Studies in Documentary Film Vol 6 Issue 2, Pp. 159—173,

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