In this chapter I want to mark a moment in the evolving story of the interactive documentary and to look at its developmental trajectory to date. I want to think about how we would establish a timeline for the development of the i-doc and further, how we might plot its progress against such a timeline. I want to also look at the development of the i-doc as cultural form and explore its chances of becoming banal, an everyday part of our media experience rather than a niche tech experiment. I will address the wider questions of what kinds of factual mediation we might expect networked societies to produce. This bigger question is set against the turbid discursive frameworks of ‘upgrade culture’ (Dovey and Kennedy 2006: 52–3) that shape the way that media development is currently understood. This chapter is part of a continuing investigation in trying to understand media in perpetual transition. My argument therefore finds its way to media historiography, and asks what kinds of media histories can we mobilise that might offer us some perspective beyond enthusiasm for novelty. What historical resources do we have that get us beyond ‘awesome’ as a response to media innovation?
Dovey, J. (2017). Who wants to become banal? The i-doc from experiment to industry. In J. Aston, S. Gaudenzi, & M. Rose (Eds.), I-Docs: The Evolving Practices of Interactive Documentary (272-288). Columbia, USA: Wallflower Press