Beyond “Toolness”: Korsakow Documentary as a Methodology for Plurivocal Interventions in Complexity
Abstract: The hypothesis underlying this article is that new documentary practices potentially enable new forms of mediation allowing all interactors to experience complexity and deal with contingency in a world of polyvocality through multilayered configurations. An exploration of the Korsakow documentary Racing Home (Marianne McMahon and Phil Hoffman, 2014) brings into focus the epistemological and ontological status of these assemblages. A central issue is the question of how significantly specific modes of editing in Korsakow affect the overall experience for both the authoring instances and for the user-interactor: not only the authorship is shared between the interrelated agents, but also the heterogeneity of materials from various sources adds to the complexity of the assemblages. Central research questions include the role that polyvocality and algorithmic editing play in Korsakow, its specific embracement of contingency and its probing of nonlinear narratives. The answers provided through the analysis of the case study lead to the conclusion that Korsakow is more than just a tool to promote a special purpose and/or a platform to distribute material. Rather, Korsakow is best seen as a methodology to approach complex matters and provide multiple affective and cognitive ways to respond to them.