I have been contacted by Jesse de Vos, a former master student in Film and Television Theory at the University of Utrecht, because he had been following my blog and wanted to have some feed-back on his Master thesis. Once I read the text I was so impressed by it that I thought it had to be available for others… so… find it HERE.
Jesse’s work is very much in line with my own thinking: the idoc is to be seen as a dynamic object, a ‘text’ that cannot only be studied in terms of “meaning” and “authorial voice” because it goes beyond representation and puts in relation “felt connections, intensity, affect and movement” (de Vos, 2012:11).
The multi-transformative force of the idoc that I have tried to connect to theories of autopoiesis and assemblage in my work (see my PhD Introduction and my draft chapters) are cleverly linked to theories of affect (Massumi, Deleuze) by de Vos. Interestingly, those theories are then applied to the case study of Bear 71 – which is one of my favourite idocs ever…
What comes out of his very clear and convincing argumentation that we should see the idoc as a ‘machinic assemblage’ that touches us in ways that perception and interpretation cannot fully grasp.The connection with the idoc is described by de Vos as a “coming together” (de Vos, 2012:13) that has political and aesthetic effects.
I say in my work that what interests me is the transformational effect of idocs; de Vos reminds us that what an idoc “does” might be as important as what it might “mean”… both our voices tend toward a new way of looking at idocs: not as representational objects but as carriers of change – “living documentaries” (Gaudenzi, PhD).
The questions that are still opened for me are how are we to assess and grasp what all those changes are?
Also… are idocs more transformative than other interactive art forms? Is it the fact of using digital media, or is it the fact of speaking of facts and realities that makes them so personal and apt to affect subjectivities?
These are questions that I would really like to discuss further with you all. Hopefully de Vos too will have something to add to this debate!