Generative Document – “Clouds” by James George and Jonathan Minard Cover Image

Generatywny dokument – „Clouds” Jamesa George’a oraz Jonathana Minarda
Generative Document – “Clouds” by James George and Jonathan Minard

Author(s): Marcin Składanek
Subject(s): Media studies, Film / Cinema / Cinematography
Published by: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: “Clouds”;James George; Jonathan Minard; interactive documentary; i-doc; non-fictional narratives
Summary/Abstract: The aim of the article is the analysis of “Clouds” (2014) by James George and Jonathan Minard – an interactive documentary (i-doc), which gained the status of a representative testimony of trans-medial intersections and hybrid strategies characterizing contemporary, digital and non-fictional narratives. In the analyses undertaken here, the crucial reference category is the concept of a “generative document”, which was suggested by two directors, as one of the clues of recognizing the identity and meaning of their film. Indeed, this category seems to properly define – as a consequence of the intentional decisions of George and Minard – the way of mutual balancing and synergic correlation between the experimental search for new forms of expression and the original approach to the presented reality. What is more, the figure of the generative document indicates a number of aesthetic qualities and structural solutions that have been transferred from the domain of algorithmic art/design giving “Clouds” unique formal characteristics. Finally, this category clearly manifests the primary purpose of the film, which is to construct a picture of contemporary creative coding practices – a complex, not obvious, mosaic portrait that emerges as a result of dynamic links within a relational database of short statements from over 40 renowned artists, designers, hackers and researchers. Detailed analyses of the generative strategies – revealed both in the visual and narrative layers – take data visualization as another reference point – a very important context for George and Minard’s project. Mapping techniques, methods of exploration and presentation of data collections not only correspond to the procedures of creative coding (through the use of an algorithmic generative process), but also shape current practices of the interactive documentary (due to the database organization).

  • Page Range: 110-124
  • Page Count: 15
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Language: Polish