Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 and Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory at York University, Canada

A Manual of Making Digital Media Stories.

MDM: Ministry of Digital Media

One could argue that “SPACES BETWEEN: TRAVELING THROUGH BLEEDS, APERTURES AND WORMHOLES INSIDE THE DATABASE NOVEL by Norman M. Klein” can be read as a manual or guideline(skecth) on how to create digital media stories, specifly datbase stories. Here are the steps:
1- For Norman Klein, the most important element of creating such narrative is its believability. Meaning being able to position the viewer/the reader in the centre of a constructed reality, But how? He talks about the necessity of creating “Scripted Space”.

The principle of Scripted Space in response to the conditions of consumer culture is about the viewer and power. Everything from politics to computer games give us the illusion that we are an insider player (you have an active/effective role in making decision in your democratic government, and so forth…) An Scripted Space gives you the impression (belivable illusion) that there is a narrative out there and that you are at the center of it. “One question is that do you know that you are being faked? The answer is usually yes” Thus a certain degree of collusion is required to make the Scripted Spaces believable.  (Norman Klein)

Conclusion: We need to create the right amount of collusion in digital media stories to make so they can convey the illusion of reality.

2- Our economy, labor markets, and national boundaries are morphed into one… “So when you build a media narrative, paradoxes must be carefully brought back into its navigation, almost like re-introducing an extinct species into a lake.”

[Here, a critique of the global economy creates a guideline for our digital media narrative.]

The global economy pretend to be flat and one dimensional, it seems that is all about consumerism but is it?
What kind of database novels should respond to this economy—to its widening paradoxes? Conclusion: We need a media story where the paradoxes are inserted carefully.

 “Database novels do not have to blow up the universe to get to act three. They can hover uneasily on a human scale, even look unfinished, like an anthropology, more than interior decorating for the end of the world.”

4- don’t be obsessed with the glossy cover

In the consumer society we are obsessed with having things finished in glossy covers and nice packages. In digital media we should cherish “unfinished” to support the discovery through experiment.

5- All media relies on absence (gap) to tell the story. We need a gap that is not too narrow and not too wide.

Gap too wide -> no mental leap can bridge it
Gap to narrow -> narrative becomes illustration

We want the reader to work as an engineer and find his or her way through the story. The reader only needs the “planned mental echo, enough to surprise and enough to immerse”. The viewer should be allowed to drift and discover through process.

Conclusion: The reader doesn’t require correspondence that matches image to concepts rather reader requires gaps/hole between the information so he or she can engage with the content and create his or her meaning though it, leaving room for “mental leaps and sutures.”

This reminds me of Jacque Ranciere’s notion of emancipation in art. He talks about the intellectually emancipatory method in art as oppose to the pedagogical approach to conveying messages in art. The idea is that to make a work of art, especially a critical/political one effective, an artist doesn’t need to give all the answer. (poverty is bad, war is bad, peace is good,…) instead the artist should provide enough clues and correspondence to lead the spectator to the topic, to ask questions, to drift, to wonder, to make connections. Ranciere refers to this process, allowing the viewer to engineer the meaning/story through these signs, as intellectually emancipatory.

Question 2: Do you see the database novels, as defined by N. Klien,as critical or perhaps anti-capitalist (anti-consumerist) considering that they are “without adding finish, removing paradox, putting more grease in your hair?” Doesn’t it create a prototype for resistant storytelling (in digitl form of course)?


Thu, February 7 2013 » futurecinema2_2012