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projects curated

Eran Hadas and Udi Ben-Arie


Eran Hadas is a poet, software developer and new media artist from Tel-Aviv. He builds computer based poetry generators that utilize the internet for their input. He calls what he does “Augmented Poetry”, enabling humans to manipulate the material of language by employing automated algorithms.

Udi Ben-Arie is the head of production and a lecturer at the Digital Media Program, the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television, Tel-Aviv University, and a lecturer at the Screen-Based Department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. His research and work centers on interactive storytelling and user experience design in digital media. Ben-Arie has directed and shot several interactive and documentary movies, he was nominated for the Oscar student foreign film award for his debut short film “Second Watch”.


Narratologist Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan addresses the effect that the media may have on artworks. Rimmon-Kenan argues that the inherent properties of each medium have a dominant influence on the artwork’s form and design, thus the medium’s properties may open up possibilities and impose constraints.

In this playlist we searched for possibilities and constraints that digital media affords interactive digital documentaries. Constraints play two major roles in interactive storytelling. One role is a creator’s decision to limit themselves and the world they represent. In this case, the numerous options enabled by technology are constricted. The second role is dealing with constraints which are not devised by the creator, but are a characteristic of the creative medium. This approach challenges the assumption that a frameless digital storytelling work is infinite in comparison a traditional one.

The works below were based on constraints which creators have imposed on their work, either by limiting the footage or data they were planning to use, or by utilizing the affordances of medium-specific constraints to generate their own imaginative world of storytelling.

_I Love Your Work

An experiment in subscription-based storytelling, Jonathan Harris’s "I Love Your Work" takes 10 viewers inside the world of lesbian pornography each day.

The decision to mimic the style of pornography sites teasers by building a fragmented collection of 10 second clips, makes this work unique by breaking and remaking the format of footage editing and curation.

_Mapping Main Street

The participatory project "Mapping Main Street" documents the diversity of America.

The seemingly arbitrary constraint of choosing to document people only on streets named “Main”, uncovers meaningful social issues.

_Dreams of Your Life

How alone are you? Explore that theme and more in "Dreams of Your Life," an interactive piece with an invisible interlocutor whose probing questions prompt deep, and sometimes dark, reflections about life.

A story disguised as a Q&A session transgresses into intimate territory by asking the subject questions like: how long would it take for someone to find your body? Who misses you right now?

_Notes on Blindness

Based on writer John Hull's recordings about losing his sight, Notes on Blindness is a virtual reality experience that immerses the viewer in a post-vision world.

The challenge of understanding and representing how a blind person experiences the world led the creator to represent visions of the real world with sonic perceptions translated into a visual language.

_We Feel Fine

"We Feel Fine" visualizes emotional "data," creating a record of people's emotions as expressed on blogs and social media.

While "We Feel Fine" lacks a unified narrative, it captures the heartbeat of the online community in a given moment. By limiting the visualized data only to the words “I feel…” or “I am feeling…” in blog posts, the project illustrates the online world's emotional map. Starting from a top-level view, segmentation reveals more layers of data, up to an individual person’s “snapshot” of a feeling.

_Bear 71

Surveillance video and data feeds from Canada’s Banff National Park make environmental documentary "Bear 71" a commentary on life in the digital age.

The narrative constraint is expressed through the perspective of a grizzly bear, or rather the personification of a bear. “Bear 71” visual aspects could be seen as documentarian poetry. The park map composed of visual metaphors where fragments of abstract signs (points, circle, axes etc.) represent topologies of surfaces and land cover layers (terrain, rivers, forests, roads, railroads etc.).

_Fort McMoney

Explore the frozen town of Fort McMurray and the tangled web of consequences fueled by the get-rich-quick mentality of its inhabitants in this groundbreaking documentary game.

“Fort Mcmoney” is a game combined with social engagement. It uses gaming techniques to make users research dilemmas concerning the future of a virtual town simulating a real life town. Participants are encouraged to become decision makers by gaining game points. They do so according to virtual data which evolves as the game progresses. In this way the alternative reality exposes the real one.


"Gaza/Sderot" documents human resilience by capturing stories from neighboring cities Gaza and Sderot, each on different sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A website representing a conflict zone is designed to enhance the experience of its content with a fence-shaped separator. Each side represents an opponent, and the story is constructed as a timeline which juxtaposes stories and characters from both sides.

_The Shirt On Your Back

The Shirt on Your Back is an interactive documentary about the dangers of the global garment industry.

The constraint is time based and interface related. Navigation is handled using a scroll down function. The user sees how much money the factory worker makes, in comparison to the worth of items sold by UK retailers during the user’s visit to the website. The repetitive interface commands attention to the economical injustice.

_Subway Stories

Subway Stories is an interactive experience that offers users a glimpse of their fellow commuters' inner lives.

The limited interface immerses the users in a made up world, making the users the conductors of the conversation.


A team of miniature robots developed at MIT makes a documentary about humans, disarming their subjects with their engineered “cuteness.”

The primitive cardboard robots that are restricted by a fixed set of questions utilize their disadvantage to appear charming and raise empathy.


projects curated by

Elaine McMillion Sheldon


projects curated by

MIT Open Documentary Lab


projects curated by

Arnau Gifreu

33 Pl Playlists

33 playlists, a changing roster of prominent documentary makers, festival organizers, technologists and critics sharing their top picks.

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