I’m Associate Professor, Director of the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of the West of England in Bristol, UK and co-Director of i-Docs. A frequent chair and public speaker in academic and industry settings; I’ve delivered recent conference keynotes at InterDocs Barcelona 2014, Teaching Documentary 2014 and MeCCSA PGN 2015. I co-convene the i-Docs Symposium, consult on interactive documentary development eg as adviser on the REACT Future Documentary Sandbox and I’m one of the curators of the MIT Open Documentary Lab Docubase.
My practice-led research looks at the intersection between documentary and networked culture. I’m interested in the social, political and cultural potential of participatory and collaborative forms and in their pre-digital histories.
After working as a sound recordist on film and TV and then as a producer/director for C4 and BBC2 I got involved in participatory media in the mid-nineties. I was co-founder and producer of the BBC’s “mass observation” camcorder project – Video Nation (94-2000) and Executive Producer of Capture Wales (2001-2007), a pioneering digital storytelling project in the UK. I’ve developed and overseen a number of other innovative participatory projects for the BBC including Voices (2004) – a major pan-platform collaborative exploration of language, accent and dialect across the UK (Webby nominee ) and MyScienceFictionLife (2006) (Webby Honoree) – a collective history of British science fiction.
As founding Editor of New Media at BBC Cymru Wales (2001 – 2007) I built the department which produced interactive for Doctor Who and Tribe. From 2007 until 2010 I was Creative Director: Multiplatform at BBC Wales – commissioning new media on projects including Coal House (2007) and Coal House at War (2008) and leading cross-platform seasons including “What are we doing to our kids?” (2008) about contemporary childhood, and “Green Wales” (2009) which asked how Wales was responding to the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
My involvement with DIY and alternative media goes back to the 1970s. I was one of the founders of COW Films, a feminist film distribution group, worked with the punk band The Slits and at Four Corners Film Workshop in London’s Bethnal Green, and was one of the editors of Emergency Magazine.
My current practice-based research, The Are you happy? Project revisits Jean Rouch’s seminal documentary “Chronicle of a Summer” in the context of global collaboration and the web, and explores the potential of HTML5 for the “creative treatment of actuality” (Grierson’s early definition of documentary).
I’m co-supervisor at Royal Holloway of Doctoral Candidate Mary Mitchell – An Investigation of Participatory Design in Interactive Documentary Production with Refugee Youth
For consultation, public presentations other enquiries – firstname.lastname@example.org