Documentary Media Poetics: a handbook for research and practices Public Deposited
Documentary Poetics are the study and practice of documentary arts as a method for building and transforming our world. Documentary Poetics help us to recognize the documentary impulse inherent in all art. The documentary impulse is driven by our experiences of the world. It informs everything that we make, from early cave paintings to virtual reality. Rather than trying to make documentaries more poetic, we instead follow this impulse to enter into documentary through poetry.
Documentary Poetics are characterized by what the poet Philip Metres calls double-movement. This is when a work of art invites us into its own constructed world, while simultaneously allowing the outside world in. In this way, documentary both informs and is informed by its historical moment, and helps to create the possibility for new moments by making knowledge.
Media are the methods we use to create documentary artworks. They can take the form of any form of communication, including text, painting, performance, sound, moving images, and beyond.
To better understand and analyze how Documentary Poetics actually work, we can separate them into two major categories: Objectivism and Lyricism. When taken together, these methods become the basis for what scholar and documentarian John Grierson called the creative treatment of actuality.
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