Rdigitalive Nuit Blanche

RdigitaLIVE is a foray into database driven, algorithmic documentary narrative, produced for Nuit Blanche, in Toronto, Canada.


The installation featured clips from Rdigitalife expert interviews, original graphics including animated kinetic text and ambient visualizations, b-roll footage, intercut with live interviews so that the Nuit Blanche audience could participate, and shape the documentary, live.


Data visualization artist Jeremy Rosztain collaborated on the installation, to develop an original narrative algorithm so that throughout the night, as we interviewed live participants, asking them questions such as “Could you fall in love with a robot,” and “Are you addicted to your phone” the documentary would shape itself around their answers.


In advance of the installation, a database of content was compiled and tagged, with interview clips, b-roll, data visualizations, questions and titles.


A structure for clips was established, whereby a clip with dialogue would be followed by b-roll or a visualization, and an original algorithm was designed using the concept of a Markov chain, whereby the relationship between keywords is established, ensuring that there is a strong match between clips.


The project ran continuously for over 12 hours, generating new, original documentary footage, and fostering engaging conversation.


The goal with this project was to create profound interaction with the filmic language – beyond simply choosing what clips to use, viewers actually got to see a sequence form around their spontaneous commentary, in real time.