The newest project from indie documentarian Kirby Ferguson has a title that’s both premise and promise: This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory, which will be released serially by indie distribution platform VHX, takes aim at conspiracy theories as a lens on “the rules, institutions and technology that we create…” and that shape how we perceive, and sometimes misunderstand, the world.
Ferguson first rose to prominence in 2010 with his series Everything Is A Remix, which tackled mash-ups and the role they’ve played in pop culture.
Conspiracy looks to focus a much broader lens on the world, examining the basic concept of the conspiracy theory going all the way back to the 1960s, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, before moving to the modern era of The X-Files, The Matrix and Edward Snowden.
This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory is just the latest project to find distribution through VHX — the first installment is available to watch for free on YouTube, Vimeo (where it’s also available for sale) and the project’s official site, but future episodes will be available to subscribers DRM-free across all geographic regions. (The current price for the entire series is $12 — that’s a launch special, though, and later it’ll increase to $15.)
When will the next episode be available? Ferguson, at the end of the first installment, doesn’t have an answer — while the total running time of Conspiracy is promised to be around 80 minutes (a little shorter than your average feature film), there is no set release schedule for episodes.
In the introductory video, Ferguson also promises video updates that will allow audiences to interact with the series as it moves forward.
The first taste of Conspiracy is only five minutes, and largely set-up for the rest of the series, but does propose some big ideas that might prove intriguing when explored further.
“By 2013,” Ferguson narrates, “we’d entered a new era of suspicion and paranoia,” thanks to in part to the Internet, which he points to feeding the theories of believers. Of course, without the Internet, we’d have no way to watch Conspiracy in the first place.