Open Space Documentary
Open space documentary is an emerging framework for community-based media. Intentional participatory media experiments are proliferating across rapidly developing and evolving distribution platforms. New technology and social media have quickly created biodiverse habitats where artists are able to test how media can communicate stories, imagine social change, and function as a dynamically evolving participatory “open space.” Instead of national or global definitions, the open space documentary model frames hyperlocal and community-based media practices as key to bringing people with diverse interests together. Three examples of media projects exemplify the spirit of open space documentary; they are intentional media arts projects seeking to influence other areas of social change, from local to national. Saving the Sierra is a transmedia regional documentary project of rural responses to urban development pressures. The Precious Places Community History Project is a video-based history of Philadelphia and the surrounding region. Open Minds Open Mouth is an evolving open space documentary project in Berkeley that encourages a social media community to grow around Lunch Love Community; its intentional organizing principle is to set up and encourage ongoing dialogue and connection on a local human scale.