Desktop Documentary: From Artefact to Artist(ic) Emotions

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    "Miklós Kiss studies desktop documentaries and emphasises their singular potential to convey an argument by simulating the maker’s process of exploring and tinkering in insightful ways. The piece makes an important contribution to the study of a relatively new audiovisual form and its particular affordances for persuasion." (NECSUS journal)

    One of the most distinguishing characteristics of desktop documentaries is their affordance of making and presenting a video at the same time: i.e., collapsing boundaries between revealing their thinking and tinkering research process (as unfolding, step-by-step, in front of our eyes) and the presentation of the outcomes of such ‘t(h)inkering’ (arriving at results and, thereby, justifying the presented research methods). They are ‘exploratory’ and ‘explanatorily argumentative’ in one. There is a particular effect that emerges from such transparent, credible, and effortless performativity – a relaxed and seemingly spontaneous presentation of an unfolding argument in an environment (software on desktop) and through methods (typing, dragging, opening files) that is familiar and rather natural to all viewers. In this paper, I aim to take a closer look at these fundamental qualities – ‘transparency’, ‘credibility’, ‘effortlessness’, and ‘performativity’ – respectively, and reveal their distinct as well as joint effects, ultimately resulting in what I will call, ‘artist(ic) emotions’.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNECSUS European Journal of Media Studies
    VolumeSpring 2021
    Publication statusPublished - 16-May-2021

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