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Moments of Innovation

Paleolithic hunter-gatherers used mineral pigments to paint richly detailed paintings of game and livestock inside caves in southern France.  Today we have a dizzying array of social media tools to keep us in instantaneous contact.

“The sandbox” of tools to record our stories has literally exploded and the number of tools seems to be ever-expanding.  Technology is making storytelling and the tools of storytelling more accessible to more people, and those tools are now being used in new and innovative ways, such as by mixing media, mixing tools and just, in general, remixing the act of storytelling.

The MIT Open Documentary Lab and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam’s project, “Moments of Innovation,” documents the process of documentation.  The project spans from the 17,000-year-old cave paintings to modern-day virtual reality.

What I find most interesting about the project is how photography is being propelled forward by technology.  The project shows viewers one of the first “game changers” in photography, the $1 Kodak Brownie Camera that came out in 1900 and allowed the coining of the term “snapshot.”  The Brownie camera let everyone become a photographer, and with modern-day photography, award-winning artists such as Doug Rickard travel and photograph the back roads of America, virtually, through Google street view.

The project is an innovative tour through the technology of documentation. And the swiping and scrolling user experience is fun in and of itself.

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