Catch panels on emerging media and news futures featuring Dot Connector Studio’s Jessica Clark, and Immerse staff and writers at this year’s Double Exposure Festival, happening October 13 – 17.

Clark will take part in two panels, Constructing the New/s: Year One, and Futurist Writers Room: The Future of Reality. Immerse Editor Abby Sun will moderate the Making the Metaverse: Part 1, Case Studies. Sarah Wolozin, co-founder of Immerse, will take part in the followup panel titled Making the Metaverse: Part 2, Reimagining the Present.  

Register for the festival here, and learn more about the panels below. Additional speakers will be added in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Artwork for Double Exposure 2021, their seventh season, created by Michael Crossett. Read about his process here.

Constructing the New/s: Year One

Speakers: Jessica Clark, and Farai Chideya

Moved to action by widespread reckonings in newsrooms over race and gender equity, the Ford Foundation released a report in 2020 titled Reconstructing American News. Commissioned by journalism program officer Farai Chideya and authored by Jessica Clark’s team at Dot Connector Studio, the report detailed the pressing need for investment in diverse journalism innovators, and the ways in which such leaders had stepped up in a time of unprecedented strife to rethink reporting on the pandemic and racial justice.

Now, a year later, Chideya and Clark are bringing the report’s recommendations to life. Last fall, Chideya launched a podcast, Our Body Politic, unapologetically centered on reporting on not just how women of color experience the major political events of today, but how they are shaping and influencing those very issues. With support from Ford, Clark launched the New/s initiative at the Guild of Future Architects—a three-year exploration of what it takes to support mission-focused news innovators who are women, BIPOC and/or LGBTQI+. The two will discuss their parallel approaches, and take questions from attendees about how both funding and journalism are evolving to better represent people’s lived realities and address complex social issues.

Futurist Writers Room: The Future of Reality

Speakers: Jessica Clark, Karim Ahmad, Robert Earl Sinclair, and Alicia Bell

Journalism and documentary are both technologies of capturing and interrogating the real. But how might the ways in which we represent reality have changed 20 years ago to head off the current crisis of misinformation? And how might news creators and audiences experience a more nuanced and pluralistic version of reality in 2040?

Jessica Clark of the Guild of Future Architect’s New/s Initiative will host a participatory session inviting attendees to imagine alternate pasts and speculative futures for the intersecting practices of documentary and news.

Come prepared to stretch your minds and rethink your assumptions in this fast-paced workshop. Need some inspiration before jumping in? Take a look at the Making a New Reality toolkit, co-authored by Clark and the guild’s Kamal Sinclair.

This panel builds upon the earlier session, Constructing the New/s .

Making the Metaverse: Part 1, Case Studies

Speakers: Abby Sun, Robert Hernandez, Violeta Ayala, and Sparsh Ahuja

Who is investing into the metaverse, and who will it benefit? Three pioneering makers present case studies that illuminate how artists interested in journalistic practices can engage with or make work for a metaverse future. These projects include ones that are deploying new technologies or are situated in virtual worlds, as well as traditional documentary film investigations into the ways the metaverse is already being made and contested around us. The first part of the “Making the Metaverse” panels will ground us before part two, which features a conversation between writers, academics, and thinkers who will help us make sense of the morass of lingo and techno-determinist expectations. Presented as part of the fifth anniversary issue of Immerse, the leading publication that champions and critically engages with new immersive nonfiction storytelling.

Making the Metaverse: Part 2, Reimagining the Present. 

Speakers: Sarah Wolozin, Andrew Wang, Jesse Damiani, Kathryn Karaoglu Hamilton

Following three in-depth case studies, this panel of writers and journalists who specialize in reporting, digesting, and thinking on developments seamlessly linking together and complicating the connections between our physical and digital world will expand our lens beyond the specific. This free- and high-spirited conversation will tackle the bigger-picture stakes of using the term “metaverse” for projects that come from journalistic practices. Presented as part of the fifth anniversary issue of Immerse, the leading publication that champions and critically engages with new immersive nonfiction storytelling.

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