In the 21st century filmmaking is expanding to incorporate computer interaction, live performance and new forms of interdisciplinary collaboration. As a multimedia pioneer and art school lecturer working within a film department, I work across academia and industry on practice-led research projects which are influenced by creative technology and which are not restricted by genre. With this in mind, I have a passion for expanded cinema, immersive theatre and interactive documentary.
My PhD in visual anthropology and interaction design, completed in 2003, reflects a long standing interest in using multiple media, non-linearity and split screen to explore multiple points of view and to address complexity. Having worked with a wide variety of people from Tuareg nomads, Tibetan monks and the Sudanese diaspora to British Sugar factory workers and National Railway Museum archivists, I co-founded and now co-direct i-Docs (i-docs.org) the internationally recognised centre for research into evolving documentary practices. I take an expansive view of interactive documentary and, alongside my ongoing curatorial and ethnographic work, am also involved in producing/directing live performances and interactive installations, which push at the edges of documentary and which bring music, theatre and dramaturgy into the mix.
I see myself as a storyteller first and foremost, exploring how filmmaking is evolving in response to emerging technologies. This means that my work is deeply informed by changing literacies, by the interplay between the linear and the associational, the live and the mediated, and by an explicit acknowledgement that our sense of ‘reality’ is always framed by the lens through which we view the world. As an unashamed idealist, I also draw on the past as a means of interrogating the present and imagining a better future.