<StoryBits> PT


Digital media have fostered the emergence of multiple narrative formats and modes of representation, that mirror the new processes of mediation and remediation. The StoryBits conference, with a focus on this reality, is a natural continuum to former events, dedicated to the area of digital and interactive expressions of documentary, organized by the University of Beira Interior between 2016 and 2018, but broadens this thematic focus to include other genres, formats and narrative models.
StoryBits thus arises from the need to create a scientific event that promotes discussion around digital media and the diversity of creation and production of narratives that emerge from this context. It aims to promote theoretical and scientific knowledge about these new narratological expressions, including in this reflection the need for project-based research practices, and the sharing of experiences between researchers and professionals in the field. Thus, it intends to be an event exclusively dedicated to digital narratives, crossing from fiction to nonfiction formats, of an interactive or performative nature.

Information about previous events:

2016 - WebDocumentário, O Paradigma da Interatividade e a Tradição do Documentário

2017 - WebDocumentário/2017 + WebDocumentário/2017/ISSA TOUMA

2018 - < Bits.Doc > 2018

Organizing Committee

Luís Frias

Francisco Merino

Manuela Penafria

Scientific Committee

Arnau Gifreu (Universitat de Girona, ERAM, Espanha).

Bruno Mendes da Silva (Universidade do Algarve, CIAC, Portugal)

Francisco Merino (Universidade da Beira Interior, LabCom, Portugal)

Guilhermina Castro (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Escola das Artes, CITAR,, Portugal)

Jorge Palinhos (Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, CEAA-ESAP, Portugal)

Manuela Penafria (Universidade da Beira Interior, LabCom, Portugal)

Marta Pinho Alves (Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, CIEF-IPS, Portugal)

Nelson Zagalo (Universidade de Aveiro, DigiMedia, Portugal)

Patrícia Gouveia (Universidade de Lisboa, ITI/LarSys, Portugal)

Patrícia Nogueira (Instituto Universitário da Maia, ISMAI / iNOVA Media Lab - ICNOVA, Portugal)

Paulo Nuno Vicente (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, iNOVA Media Lab - ICNOVA, Portugal)

Rafael Linares Palomar (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, INTERMEDIAE, Espanha)

Valentina Nisi (Universidade de Lisboa, ITI/LarSys, Portugal)


Sara Constante - Graphic Design

João Tavares - Web Design

Aline Grupillo - Media Communication


Mércia Pires

General Contact


Call for Proposals

The organization of the StoryBits conference invites the submission of communication proposals or project formats, thematic tables and workshops, namely in the area of ​​Media Arts, practice based research, of works completed or in progress. Proposals can be submitted either in Portuguese (PT), English (EN) or Spanish (ES) languages.

All the papers and project submissions will be subject to a blind peer review.

The organizing committee will edit a book, for the LabCom Editions, with a selection of communications and projects presented at the event.

StoryBits invites submissions on the following topics:

Submission Categories:

A - Communication for paper

Author(s) name(s):


Communication title:

Abstract (≤ 2.000 characters without spaces):

Author(s) email:

Author(s) bio:

B - Project (practice based research/creation)

Author(s) name(s):


Project title:

Abstract (≤ 1.000 characters without spaces):

Access link and/or video file format:

Author(s) email:

Author(s) bio:

C - Thematic Table ( ≥3 researchers/creators)

Thematic table title:

Each communication title:

Abstract of each communication (≤ 1.000 characters without spaces):

Proposers affiliations:

Proposers bios:

Proposers emails:

D - Workshop

Workshop theme:

Workshop presenter:

Presenter’s bio:

Detailed proposal:

No of participants:


Technical requisites for participants:

Submission dates:

Communication for paper
March 7, 2021
March 15, 2021

Project, Thematic Table and Workshop
March 21, 2021


General Registration

The conference will be held online and will be free for participants, although registration will be mandatory for all. Requests to attend should be sent to storybits@labcom.ubi.pt, with the indication of name and affiliation.
Enrollment in the < Research Workshops > and < Performance Session > is subject to specific application and requisites specified in the Program & Schedule.

Programme Highlights

The 1st edition of StoryBits is an organization of LabCom, with the support of FAL- Arts and Letters Faculty, Arts Department and the PhD program on Media Arts + Practice

Keynote Speakers:

Nelson Zagalo

Associate Professor, University of Aveiro (UA). Scientific Coordinator of Digimedia Research Centre. Author of the book “Engagement Design: Designing for Interaction Motivations” (2020).

André Paz

Professor at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) where he teaches in the Professional Masters of the Graduate Program in Creative Media (PPGMC). Bug404 coordinator (bug404.net) and organizer, with Sandra Gaudenzi, of the book “Bug: Interactive and Immersive Narratives” (2019).

Judith Aston

Associate Professor at University of the West of England - UWE Bristol on Interactive & Immersive Media. Researcher at the Digital Cultures Research Centre. Founding-Director of i-Docs. Co-editor, with Sandra Gaudenzi and Mandy Rose of the book “i-Docs: The Evolving Practices of Interactive Documentary” (2017).

<Research Workshops>

Kevin B. Lee | Life on Screen: Desktop Documentary and Digital Presence

Desktop and mobile storytelling have become important and popular methods of making media during the Covid lockdown times. More importantly, they provide a way to create critical reflection and insights in a world increasingly dominated by screens, apps and online digital life. These new methods have great possibilities and attract a lot of interest.
A lot of “live” events online actually consist of recorded content, due to the limitations and difficulties of streaming (bad connections and glitches). A lot of human experiences, interactions and “people” online are controlled by chatbots, algorithms and other technologies. The borders dividing live and non-live, digital and “real” life are increasingly blurred.
Ultimately, the main question to explore: in a world that is more digital and screen-based than ever, what does it mean to be alive?

Maximum number of participants: 40
Registration Fee: 25 €
Registration Fee for Students: 10 € (with proof of student id )
Registration Fee for UBI Students: 5 € (with proof of student id )

Registration process:

Workshop - Kevin B. Lee | Life on Screen: Desktop Documentary and Digital Presence

April 22, 14:00-15:30

Registration will depend on availability of places and payment confirmation.

About Kevin B. Lee

Professor and Director of the Department of Cross-Media Publishing, at Merz Akademie, Stuttgart, Germany. Author of several video essays and pioneer is this area, filmmaker, media artist, and critic.
His award-winning Transformers: The Premake introduced the “desktop documentary” format, and was named one of the best documentaries of 2014 by Sight & Sound. His Bottled Songs project was awarded the 2018 Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Grant, the 2018 European Media Artist Platform Residency, and the 2019 Eurimages Lab Project Award at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. In 2020 he is co-curating the Black Lives Matter Video Essay Playlist with Will DiGravio and Cydnii Wilde Harris.
He was Founding Editor and Chief Video Essayist at Fandor from 2011-2016, supervising producer at Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies, and has written for The New York Times, Sight & Sound, Slate and Indiewire.

Judith Aston | i-Docs and Practice-led Research

Computer pioneer Alan Kay is known to have said while working at Xerox PARC that ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it’. This workshop will map this idea onto i-docs as a form of practice-led research to consider possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration across the fields of media arts, cinema and design. It will look at how i-docs methods can be used as a means through which to conduct research as well as to disseminate the results of that research. Key themes that will be discussed are co-creation, intertwingularity, non-linearity and polyphony. Connections will be made to recent currents in critical thinking around emplacement, entanglement, meshworks and networks to show the ongoing relevance of i-docs methods to both applied and fundamental research.

Maximum number of participants: 40
Registration Fee: 25 €
Registration Fee for Students: 10 € (with proof of student id )
Registration Fee for UBI Students: 5 € (with proof of student id )

Registration process:

Workshop - Judith Aston | i-Docs and Practice-led Research

April 21, 17:00-18:30

Registration will depend on availability of places and payment confirmation.

About Judith Aston

A pioneer in the UK’s emergent interactive media industry in the mid-1980s, working as a new media producer with Cambridge University and the BBC, and have worked across academia and industry ever since. Her practice involves developing poetic approaches to interactivity – ones which move beyond the point and click world of information design to the creation of meaningful experiences that are fluid and tactile, and which can act as triggers for bringing people and communities together.
Responsible for bringing new media teaching to the Media Practice programmes at UWE, Bristol and was also heavily involved in the development of what has now become a lively postgraduate teaching and research community. As former Programme Leader for MA programmes in Digital and Interactive Media, she teaches in cross-platform documentary production and developing a range of interactive documentary projects through the Digital Cultures Research Centre and Pervasive Media Studio.

<Special Session>

Chloé Galibert-Laîné and Kevin B. Lee | Bottled Songs, screening and Q&A with the authors

Bottled Songs is an ongoing media project depicting strategies for making sense of online terrorist propaganda. Filmmakers and media researchers Chloé Galibert-Laîné and Kevin B. Lee compose letters addressed to each other, narrating their encounters with videos originating from the terrorist group the Islamic State (ISIS). They use a desktop documentary approach to trace and record their investigations playing directly upon their computer screens.
The first phase of the project consists of four short films, each taking the form of a desktop epistolary composed by one researcher addressed to the other.

Bottled Songs 1: The Observer
Bottled Songs 2: Looking Into the Flames
Bottled Songs 3: My Crush Was A Superstar
Bottled Songs 4: The Spokesman

More info about the project

Access for <StoryBits> Conference participants only

Maximum number of participants: 100


By email for storybits@labcom.ubi.pt , Subject: Session
Registration will depend on availability of places.

Full Programme

Download the program by clicking on the link below:

StoryBits 2021- Programme and Abstracts.pdf

updated on 2021.04.19


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