IONION CENTER FOR THE ARTS AND CULTURE: "Expanded Social Documentary: Strategies, Techniques & Experimental Forms,"

contact: Scott Townsend



I am a professor in the Department of Graphic Design, North Carolina State University. My background is in photography and design and history/theory/criticism. My work focuses on the intersection between the individual and the community; of issues of personal identity and history, and the use of narrative and imagery. My students use video and photography to understand people and their spaces, so that they can design meaningfully for them. For a short of list of my projects and work see: here This is additional student work- the course paired writings from Czech authors to student documentary work in Prague. Students explored ways to acknowledge their subjective understanding of another culture through photography, writing and typography, and book making.


















Expanded social documentary: strategies, techniques, and experimental forms.


Photo, video, research and storytelling

A master class led by Scott Townsend

A 7 day course introducing new techniques and ideas of social documentary.

Using different ways of recording and interpreting (sound, interview, photo, video, etc.) people and their practices and environment, students will create, edit, synthesize and communicate their research as creative and experimental visual form through broadsheets, using text and image, or through time based forms such as short video or audio pieces. This work will be exploratory in nature. Students will be supported technically and creatively, and will be assisted with previous exploratory research done in 2015. Students will collaborate in teams as needed to facilitate their successful completion of the class. The master class will also tentatively include a one day trip to Corfu for a related conference at Ionian University (details are being developed and will be updated on this site).


Venue : Ionion Center for the Arts and Culture /Island Kefalonia-Greece


Eligibility: The class is addressed to artists, designers, video artists, photographers, animators or anybody interested developing a new practice.


Time : MAY 16TH to May 23th 2016/ Opening Date for Applications : January 30th 2016 - no deadline


Instructor : Scott Townsend



(left: documentation on theme of "work and leisure"- right: experiment with graphic representation)



(the center)






First day: Morning: introduction and overview: define exploratory work and overview social documentary ideas and practices; student discussion and interests. Afternoon: basic creative controls of camera and how it affects formal composition through specific examples of photo and photo documentary. Creative controls and approaches in video: framing, movement, sound and how it affects videography. Introduce and overview warm up exercise based on simple introduction to subject, content and simple editing. Work in Metaxata in teams, instructor to work on site directly with students in groups.


Second day: Morning: Instructor to share exploratory work from previous summer. Preview exercises, brainstorm ideas and alternative approaches, clarify basic exercise guidelines as a method to begin work. Coordinate worksites, development of plan working in teams: introduction to issues of collaboration, distribution, digital networking and advocacy. Afternoon: begin exploratory work on sites: main focus Argostoli.


Third day: Teams to work in particular sites and locations as exploratory work building out from exercise, optional outside of Argostoli. Preview work in evening: introduction to techniques and ideas for broadsheets.


Fourth day: Teams to work in particular sites and locations, preview work in evening: critique and discussion to focus on refinement strategies and individual student plan of work. Ideation in groups on final format, begin production.


Fifth day: Teams to work in particular sites and locations, begin final production with assistance at the Center by instructor.


Sixth day: Final production with assistance.


Seventh day: Final posting of work at center, review.


Requirements: Digital cameras are required as well as laptops (Windows or Macintosh) with appropriate software: for print, a minimum of Photoshop, Indesign (or Illustrator). For video, a minimum of iMovie or similar Windows program.


Students will:


be supported technically with the recommended software.


be introduced to contemporary methods and techniques for social documentary.


be introduced to and apply simple clear ways of working with photography and video creatively that influence directly formal making and creative interpretation.


apply ideas of hierarchy and picture relationships integrating writing and typography as a way to create storytelling in broadsheet format.


develop and apply, where applicable, ideas of storyboarding and video editing for storytelling.


develop a final product, coordinating in teams and present the work at the end of the master class.







contact: Scott Townsend