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Media cultures newm1001 lecture week 11 Tracey Meziane Benson

Media cultures newm1001 lecture week 11 Tracey Meziane Benson

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  • 1. Media Cultures 1 Real Stories in New Media Week 11 – 14 October 2009 Tracey Meziane Benson
  • 2. Questions addressed in this lecture:
    • PART 1
    • What kinds of new media require ‘writing’?
    • What tools are available?
    • Is writing for new media then the same or different from previous practices?
    • PART TWO
    • What is narrative?
    • Are there new forms of narrative available in writing for new media?
  • 3. What kinds of new media need ‘writing’?
    • Web word document
    • Website design - including ‘blogs’ and ‘vogs’
    • Digital video/cinema
    • Digital animation
    • Computer based art installations
    • Digital sound installations
    • MSN and email
    • Video games
    • SMS
  • 4. What tools are available?
    • Data bases
    • Spatial montage
    • 3-D animation
    • Networking
    • Compositing
    • Morphing
    • Hypertextuality
    • Interactivity/ Intervention:
    • branching/
    • extractive
    • registrational
    • immersive
    • See Lister pp19-30.
  • 5. Hypertext
    • ‘…hypertext has come to describe a text which provides a network of links to other texts that are “outside, above and beyond” itself. Hypertext, both as a practice and an object of study, has a dual history.’ (Lister et al. 23)
    • i) meanings via association and book design
    • ii)via computer links to various data bases
  • 6. An interesting quote … Do you agree with it?
    • ‘ For Roland Barthes, tmesis (my emphasis) is the unconstrained skipping and skimming of passages, a fragmentation of the linear text expression that is totally beyond the author’s control. Hypertext reading is in fact quite the opposite: as the reader explores the labyrinth, she cannot afford to tread lightly through the texts but must scrutinize the links and venues in order to avoid meeting the same text fragments over and over again.’
    • (Aarseth, 1997: 78) on Lister et al., 29.
  • 7. Our attachment to older ways of cultural expression is very strong …
    • And one of the strongest points of resistance emerges when we become aware how much the computer itself is ‘directing’ our response to a text.
    • The region of cybertextuality ‘ in which the machine, the text(s) and the reader/user are all equally implicated in the production of meaning.’ (Lister et al., 29)
    • And so the whole way in which we have access to understanding a text becomes very complex because it depends on all the choices made possible by computer programming and our choices of reading patterns.
  • 8. A definition (Lister et al., 24)
    • ‘We may define a hypertext as a work which is made up from discrete units of material in which each one carries a number of pathways to other units. The work is a web of connection which the user explores using the navigational aids of the interface design. Each discrete “node” in the web has a number of entrances and exits or links.’
  • 9. Interactivity/Intervention
    • ‘ the audience for new media becomes a “user” rather than a “viewer” of visual culture, film and TV or a “reader” of literature. In interactive multimedia texts there is a sense in which it is necessary for the user actively to intervene as well as viewing or reading in order to produce meaning.’ (Lister et al. 20-1)
    • The “user” is a performer – pansensual interpreter of a work, chooser of what to hear or see next and in what order
  • 10. Narrative Structure (Lucy Neave slide 1)
    • Tzvetan Todorov suggested that conventional narratives are structured in five stages:
    • 1. a state of equilibrium at the outset; 2. a disruption of the equilibrium by some action; 3. a recognition that there has been a disruption; 4. an attempt to repair the disruption; 5. a reinstatement of equilibrium
  • 11. (Lucy Neave slide 2)
    • Stories are built around some sort of conflict:
    • The conflict between two people
    • The conflict between a person and the world
    • A conflict within oneself
    • Most narrative stories/films have more than one conflict in them
  • 12. “Conventional” Narratives (Lucy Neave slide 3)
    • Linear plot
    • Beginning, middle and end
    • An main event; a dramatic high point
    • A main character
  • 13. “Unconventional” Narratives (Lucy Neave slide 4)
    • Fractured
    • Multiple main characters/ points of view
    • Various disruptions to time ordering of events: flashbacks, flashforwards, events presented in reverse chronological order, i.e. the film Memento and the book Chocolat.
    • Self-reflexive; “Break the dream”
  • 14. Is writing for new media then the same or different from previous practices?
    • One of the big differences is the immense range of possibilities for differing and complex combinations of representational formats. Old and new ways of writing can be combined to create new forms:
    • The ‘story engine’ Life After Wartime by Ross Gibson and Kate Richards: http://www.lifeafterwartime.com/
    • & http://www.lifeafterwartime.com/html-content.html#crimescene
    • Hypertextual fairytales and other stories
    • http://www.three.org/
    • Michael Joyce http://www.eastgate.com/TwelveBlue/Twelve_Blue.html
    • http:// www.eastgate.com/LastingImage/Welcome.html
  • 15. Split Screens
    • Another form of viewing and reading is currently being explored – the practice of using ‘split screens’.
    • Mike Figgis’ experimental film Timecode (2000) is a very good example of this.
    • Also, have a look at the website http:// www.splitscreen.us /