August 11, 2016—August 14, 2016

Visible Evidence XXIII

Bozeman, Montana, USA

Visible Evidence, the international conference on documentary film and media, now in its 23rd year, will convene August 11-14, 2016 in Bozeman, MT. Hosted by the School of Film and Photography at Montana State University, Visible Evidence XXIII will address the history, theory, and practice of documentary and non-fiction cinema, television, video, audio recording, digital media, photography, and performance, in a wide range of panels, workshops, plenary sessions, screenings, and special events.

Call for Proposals

Drawing inspiration from our Montana setting, we challenge participants to think about new frontiers in documentary theory and practice. While panels, presentations and screenings may address any aspect of documentary screen cultures, histories and practices, proposals related to the following themes are especially encouraged: Environmental Frontiers, Political Frontiers, Social Frontiers and Experimental Frontiers.

Environmental Frontiers: Visible Evidence 2016 will be hosted in one of the wildest environments in the contiguous United States, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In such a place we would like to consider new directions in the environmental documentary, wildlife documentary, science film and avant-garde ecocinema.

Political Frontiers: Broadly conceptualized, the relationship between socio-political agents and events and documentary theories and practices covers a wide spectrum of technical, aesthetic, and ethical issues, from cinéma vérité vs. direct cinema and staged reenactments to contemporary citizen journalism–while seeking to redefine and transgress boundaries. Topics in this thread will explore documentary screen cultures with a focus on frontiers of political and social justice, including but not limited to: documentary and witness, testimony, trauma, social transformation, political performance, documentary as a public space for discussion of socio-political issues, and the politics of political documentary.

Experimental Frontiers: By highlighting the experiential over the rational, by showing aspects of life that are impossible to film in live action, such as the emotional and psychological dimension of human experience, contemporary documentarians have clearly showed a predilection for counter-realist, personal forms of storytelling that examine the nature of our beliefs rather than naturalizing them. What new experimental frontiers lie ahead in documentary production both in terms of form and content?

Sonic Frontiers: The relationship between the visible and sonic in screen cultures tends to be under-theorized despite the proliferation of audio-only programming and sophisticated new playback strategies like Dolby Atmos. This thread hopes to address the role of sound in producing meaning. Examples include but are not limited to sound designers and other sonic practitioners, experimental radio, podcasts, audio art, film sound/soundtrack, and score. The selection committee welcomes examples of cutting-edge work from audio practitioners in addition to papers and panels about all things audio.


Conference Program

View or download the Visible Evidence XXIII conference program here.