Researcher Interactive Factual Media
Julia is a research fellow in interactive factual media with Digital Cultures Research Centre at UWE. She works with researchers and industry to explore the potential of interactive and immersive factual media, and produces the biennial i-Docs Symposium. Julia holds a PhD in i-docs and social impact, for which she created the i-doc Giving Time.
What I’m working on:
Might immersive media technologies offer a way of imagining a preferred future, and so help us identify a path to get there? So many immersive projects (among other media forms) imagine the future in dystopian, even apocalyptic terms. But could we instead explore preferred futures? What might they look like, and how do we get there from where we are now? Or is immersion perhaps more useful for connecting us instead to the here and now, and to those that are here and now with us? It may be that uncovering in people a sense of agency will assist in revealing the path forwards. So, what might be a playful and engaging way to do this – that is, to create a shared and immersive space for connecting and imagining the journey ahead?
I plan to explore these questions in a number of ways – firstly, conducting interviews and developing case studies on shared immersive experiences or those that develop conversations between participants, and combining these into some written work. I also aim to conduct some practice-based research; exploring the possibilities of AR and projection mapping, and examining how interaction and, in particular, conversation might be involved.
Expertise and skills:
My relevant skills lie across a number of areas, including research, writing, documentary film, interactive documentary, production and curation. I have extensive knowledge of existing immersive projects particularly in the nonfiction realm, building from a PhD in interactive documentary and social impact. My production skills are gained from traditional screen work – camera, editing, direction, script editing, narrative flow and story development – as well as interactive work – user journey, interaction experience and participatory approaches.
My unique perspective on immersion involves incorporating curation experience – so, retaining a big picture perspective on diversity and possibility of form and content, specifically in nonfiction – with particular production and research experience. Finally, time spent living in the Pacific Islands and working in international development has given me a solid grounding in social and environmental impact, an awareness of which underlies most of my work.