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DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45

A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.

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Data Visualisation & Documentary

What documentary stories lie buried in the databases of government bodies, market researchers and large companies like Google?

What conclusions could we draw about ourselves and our culture, if we trace our footprints on the internet?

Our collective daily comings and goings have, for many years now, been registered in the most diverse ways. The amount of data available is gigantic, and it is becoming ever easier and more tempting to do something with it. We are seeing this particularly in the rise of the phenomenon of “data visualisation” among academics, web designers, media artists and, to an increasing extent, documentary makers.

Data Visualisation is a completely different medium that documentary cinema. However, with the convergence of digital media online, the boundaries between film, photography, art, interaction design and science are becoming less clear. And, in the end, documentary as an art form is not necessarilly restricted to the realm of cinema alone. Documentary essentially is the art of representing reality in a meaningful way. As such, creative visualisations of real data (whatever that is) can work on a documentary level too.

Within Doclab, IDFA will examine how data visualisations reveal the most absurd, humbling, trivial and unexpected aspects of reality and how they have influenced documentary filmmaking. The programme, which is made up of films, web sites and interactive projects, will show a selection of those data visualisations from recent years that appeal the most to the imagination, and investigate how these relate to contemporary documentary cinema and cross media.

To watch the programme online go to www.doclab.org

For festival tickets and the rest of the IDFA 2008 programme, go to www.idfa.nl