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Navigating history: Aesthetics and appropriation and the interactive web documentary Freedom’s Ring (2013)

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The article focuses on web documentaries as a form of interactive historiography by presenting a case study on Freedom’s Ring (2013), a multi-media-based animation of Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I have a Dream’ published in Vectors. Taking both the production and the reception side into account, the article addresses the constitution of knowledge ‐ or rather aesthetic experience ‐ through artistic research practices. In doing so, it reflects upon the concepts of authorship, copyright and participation. Due to its numerous sources, the navigation system, the artwork, its referentiality and variability, it is made the case that Freedom’s Ring challenges history as a ‘grand narrative’ by creating a subjective point of view and putting the user in the position of an activist. Web documentaries are regarded as part of an epistemic and sociopolitical development, in which artistic and academic methods merge.
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Keywords: artistic research; curating; digital technologies; interactive history; media aesthetics; referential media practices; web documentary

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000419369756Philipps University of Marburg

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.
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