Federico Biggio

5B Transcoding Storytelling/2
Session 5 – July 3, 11:00 – 13:00

Genres of Invisibility. Documentary Storytelling in Augmented Reality

Starting from the concept of hypertopia, that is the fact that emerging media spectatorship is grounded in physical context, where the ‘presence’ of a content makes ‘another’ world available, by filling the ‘here’ with the ‘elsewheres’ (Casetti 2015), the contribute will aim to investigate the feature of storytelling by means of augmented reality medium. Not just like a mere strategy of ‘narrativization’ will be take in account – for instance, with audience engagement strategies for cultural politics objectives – but the focus on the interactive and embodied dimension of the experience, and the cultural values associated to them, will be predominant, in order to explore a codified model of narrative text in digital media galaxy. For instance, examples like The Enemy (Khelifa 2017), Terminal 3 (Malik 2018) or These Sleepless Night (Arora 2019) are all forms of documentary which seems to match the production of euphoria in the viewer with an operation of making visible of something that is invisible, secret or hidden. The author strategy is figured out as an attempt to mesh on one hand, the seriousness and the critical sense, on the other, the enchantment and the emotional engagement, both empowered by image processing capacities of the technology. The act of communicating is thus loaded of cultural meanings that can be understood though the bivalent concept of transparency: the transparency of the hardware, which characterize the materiality of the medium, that of a physical stratum, which is realized in technical applications, finally the transparency of obstacles to access to information, which reveals and disclose, almost mystically, the reality, which allows to cross it toward not just virtual worlds, but a more aware knowledge of the real itself.  


Federico Biggio is a Ph.D. candidate in Semiotics and Media at the University of Turin. His research areas concern the cultures of digital media, in particular the augmented reality medium and the analysis of computational techniques in cultural and academic field; he also wrote about transmedia journalism and digital humanities. After film studies, in 2016 he graduated in Communication and Media Culture with a thesis on augmented reality and wearable technologies entitled Increase reality: a paradigm for contemporaneity and obtained an annual research grant at the Interdepartmental Department of Territory Sciences at the Polytechnic of Turin. Among his publications, The paradigm of augmentation. Immediate interactivity and cooperative design (2016), Digital arts and humanities for cultural heritage (2018), From mass media to transmedia. The digital challenge in journalistic editorial offices (2018), Guidebook for mirror worlds. Poetics of transparency in augmented reality  (2019).