Every time I get an email from Union Docs about what their programming is for the coming week, I want to jump in my car and drive immediately to Brooklyn to make sure I’m first in line.
The Union Docs Collaborative is a one- to two- year program in media research and group production for emerging media artists. These artists work in film, video, radio, photography – if it’s creative non-fiction, they’ve got their mitts all over it.
They recently visited Boston for a workshop hosted by Artists in Context, featuring a collaborative project they did called Documenting Mythologies. As described on the AIC website: “Documenting Mythologies is a work-in-progress investigation of myth in contemporary society as created by the 2009-2010 UnionDocs Collaborative. The story follows 11 non-fiction media artists on a trip from Brooklyn, NY, through New England to rural Maine, a kind of ritual escape from the city on a holiday weekend.” It’s wonderful to know that there are artists playing with non-fiction in this way and willing to share their experiments with us.
We hope to bring some of these fantastic folks back to Boston sometime in the spring through The DocYard. But until then, check out their website to get a glimpse of some of the truly inspirational programming they do out their space. AND for those interested, their deadline for artist applications for the next program is August 1!
I really liked the content and the structure of the Union Docs event – taking their cameras, computers and sound recorders to the task, the fellows, in small groups, made short pieces about cultural myths like “online persona,” “tiny fountains” and “the male gaze” (one of my favorites; it included astronauts looking down from space at women sunbathing). As well as making these documents, Uniondocs fellows and organizers were also thinking about how people can produce and exhibit their work.
Union Docs founder Christopher Allen mentioned the idea of harnessing the collective energy of people excited about media, instead of diffusing it through competition in festivals etc. By linking their pieces with video segments (which looked fun to make – there were some sparklers involved in that Maine roadtrip), the collaborators showed one way to something cohesive out of small peices, almost fitting them together like a puzzle. Pretty neat.