UnionDocs (UnDo) is a Center for Documentary Art that generates and shares big ideas.
We bring together a diverse community of experimental media-makers, dedicated journalists, critical thinkers, and local partners on a search for urgent expressions of the human experience, practical perspectives on the world today, and compelling visions for the future.
UnDo and Do Up!
We find powerful, thought-provoking works of non-fiction (film, video, sound, photography, oral history, printed word, and performance) and present over one hundred public events each year, attracting people from across and beyond New York City. Whether celebrating the discipline and artistry or sharing counterpoint and honest critique, audiences at our intimate UnDo Center are encouraged to join in open discussions with the director, creator, or producer of the work, who is always in the room.
In designing collaborative projects, we bring together 20th Century documentary practice and contemporary networked culture. What opportunities do new technologies offer non-fiction? When is mastering age-old techniques the best route? We experiment with these questions and share our learning through the UnDo Collaborative Studio, a one year fellowships program that seeks to bring together individual talents, voices, and stories and create multi-dimensional documentaries.
We believe in freely sharing ideas. For a growing international audience online, we publish critical writing, interviews, artist videos, documented panels, audience discussions, as well as the research from our collaborative productions. Through our website, we hope to share the ideas brewing at our space with the widest possible audience.
So, what is a big idea?
It is no mistake that our name abbreviates to UnDo Center. We promote marginalized stories, under-represented facts, and interdependent networks. UnionDocs believes that documentary art, when paired with thoughtful context and open debate, is an invaluable tool for understanding the complexities of contemporary life and creating a more compassionate, engaged, and integrated society.
Oh yeah, UnionDocs works well with others too.
We like to do great work in partnership with other artists, companies and organisations along a variety of routes, including producing high-profile documentary storytelling, designing participatory public media campaigns, creating interactive tools, fiscally sponsoring independent projects, or sharing knowledge through talks and lectures. For instance, we’re happy to be working closely with the folks at the metaLab@Harvard University, as advisers on their development of Zeega, a new open source platform for interactive documentary. We also enjoyed helping the World Wildlife Foundation use Web 2.0 tools and create a traveling documentary to educate Tibetan Buddhist monks on how they might protect fragile eco-systems high in the Himalayas.