Posted on:July 23, 2009
The UnionDocs Collaborative:
A new program for non-fiction media research and group production.
The UnionDocs Collaborative (UDC) is a one year program for twelve emerging media producers, theorists, and curators. It is both a rigorous platform for exploring contemporary approaches to the documentary arts and a process for developing an innovative group project. The program focuses on providing what we believe are the most effective educational resources for individuals at the beginning of their careers:
- direct contact and structured exchange with visiting artists.
- exposure to a wide variety of practices and models.
- dynamic interaction among a network of talented peers.
- regular group critique sessions.
- mentorship toward the production of an original work.
- exposure through a toured exhibition and/or publication.
The UDC has been set up to be affordable and scheduled for individuals who may need to work full-time or freelance while being involved in the program. It offers an intensive learning experience at a price that one might expect to pay for just a single credit at a university. While the UDC may have many parallels to parts of a masters program, it is designed to be an alternative-approach that focuses on inspiration from working artists and self-organization within a group, rather than a teacher-led environment. The UDC does not grant degrees or certificates; instead, the completion of an excellent collaborative project is the goal.
For some, participation in the program may lead to further study. For others, it may lead to independent projects or the beginnings of careers within the industry. For all, it is an unparalleled immersion in the expansive field of non-fiction media and art.
The UDC is split equally between residents and non-residents. Six participants live at 322 Union Ave in the apartments above the gallery and screening room and six participants set up their housing independently.
Applicants to the program may choose to also be considered for a spot in the residency because they are attracted to the kind of dynamic interaction and inspiration that can come from an intentional living arrangement. The UDC resident participants may have a bit of an advantage given the distraction and dispersion present in NYC. Having a place to come back to after work or school, where roommates share a vision and are involved in an ongoing experience is something pretty unique in the city. It would be very hard to replicate the density of conversations and the frequent opportunities for ideas and relationships to grow that you find living at 322 Union. Given the nature of this situation, we suggest a two-year commitment from residents and offer reduced program fees in the second year.