Future Cinema

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

Narrative/Database Question for the day

Manivoch pointed out in the article that “Database becomes the centre of the creative process in the computer age”. He argues that narratives in media are inherently derived from database. To me, he sees construction of narrative as a process in which artists and authors synthesize “data”: ideas, content etc. However, this process of creation of narratives have been around before the age of computer. Does Manovich uses the term “database” to draw attention to how narratives in digitized media content are constructed? Or does he simply uses a word created in the age of computer to understand a process that always existed?

Wed, November 22 2017 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: yolanda

For David (and everyone else because Borges is awesome)

The Aleph
http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/borgesaleph.pdf

The Library of Babel; An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain; Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote
http://anthonywarnick.com/fms/week15/Borges,_Jorge_Luis_-_A_Collection%20_in_English.pdf

Wed, November 22 2017 » Future Cinema » 1 Comment » Author: Marko Djurdjic

Database and Narrative

Database and narrative can be described as dots and line, line and shape, ingredients and end-products, colour and painting, or pixels and images. I also think of the relation similar to fashion; individual items (e.g. socks, shoes, jacket, shirt) and style. The concept of database and narrative seem to have been present in our pre-computer world in our minds. New media technologies have enabled to manifest the dual existences in the form of media work.

How can our own databases consisting of our experience and knowledge be affected by new sets of databases and narratives introduced by media? As we increasingly familiarize ourselves with multiplicity and accept it as a part of our media consumption, how does it change or does not change our view toward conventional Hollywood-type narrative plots which still prevalent?  Will it be obsolete? Do we become more critical?

Wed, November 22 2017 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: kyokoma

Question (or is it a rant?) for today

In terms of Man with a Movie Camera Manovich writes, “Records drawn from a database and arranged in a particular order become a picture of modern life – but simultaneously an argument about this life, an interpretation of what these images, which we encounter every day, every second, actually mean.”

With personal photos, there was a ritual: you take photos, you remove the film, careful not to expose it to light, and take it to a store to get developed. You wait at least an hour to see the photos, after having waited possibly hours to finish the roll. You take your photos out, and you place them in an album. Or you distribute them. Maybe you got two sets to give to your friends. In a world oversaturated with images, sharing one photo with dozens of people has lost some of the mystique of giving one photo to a specific person. Does a personal image lose meaning when it is over-distributed, or does it still hold the same reflexive, and reflective, power? For my birthday this year, two friends printed out photos from a trip, put them in frames and presented them to me as a gift. I proudly, and fondly, display them, and while others may look at them, they can never posses them. While an archive is, for the most part, an accessible database documenting a time or a story or a topic, these photos nevertheless become a personal archive, one rooted in my time. Manovich writes that watching Man with a Movie Camera “is anything but a banal experience,” and yet viewing page after page of photos of babies and trips and outings on Facebook or Instagram or any number of social media outlets renders some of these experience as trite, even mundane (do I sound bitter, perhaps?). And yet, while these may not have much significance past the poster, some archives that have more academic worth may not serve much of a purpose for 99.93% of the population!

While the things we own and keep can be argued in various ways—as a database, as an archive, as a collection—with varying levels of importance, we nevertheless put together a life through images, videos, trinkets, toys, and mementos. Thinking specifically about photos, I’ve often asked myself, why do we take pictures? Why do we collect them? And how often do we keep physical versions of these pictures? Why, for the most part, have we given up our own physical archive for an electronic one that may, in any moment, disappear completely?

Wed, November 22 2017 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: Marko Djurdjic

Yowza, visual sound???!?!!

https://www.wired.com/story/an-artist-uses-an-iphone-to-visualize-sounds-in-ar/?mbid=social_fb

Wed, November 22 2017 » Future Cinema » 1 Comment » Author: Marko Djurdjic

Defining Narrative

It seems to me that in many of this week’s readings (and Manovich’s in particular) the definition of ‘narrative’ is somewhat restricted, even anachronistic. Isn’t any time-based activity, in essence, a narrative?

Wed, November 22 2017 » Future Cinema » 1 Comment » Author: mtrommer

Question for LAST week’s class

I’m afraid that I was under the weather last week and only managed to catch up with the readings for the 15th over the last week. This post will have my question for that class; the question for this week’s readings are forthcoming. Sorry for the delay!

So… How does transmedia as an industrial practice operate in a transnational, globalized media world? In Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, Henry Jenkins describes the Wachowski’s recruiting efforts for different components of The Matrix story world as a planet-spanning, border-crossing creative collaboration between artists who admire each other’s work. Jenkins even positions the Wachowski’s interest in transmedia storytelling as the end result of a “fascination with what anthropologist Mimi Ito has described as Japan’s ‘media mix’ culture” (Jenkins 112).

Does this description of “collaborative authorship,” initiated by influential Western filmmakers, accurately account for the power dynamics that still exist between American media companies and the Asian artists recruited for The Animatrix? If transmedia is inherently transnational, what does that mean for concepts of cultural appropriation or colonization?

Wed, November 22 2017 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: David

Questions for Today’s Class

Reading this week’s texts and in my studies in general, I am often struck by the conflation between the database, the archive, and memory. As such, I was wondering if we could discuss how the database differs from the archive and how they each function as metonyms for memory? How has database culture changed how we think about memory or how we remember?

- Theo X

Wed, November 22 2017 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: theox25

Thoughts on Manovich, Kinder, and Database Cinema…

Hi folks — since I’ll not be in class today, I thought I’d share a few thoughts in reaction to this week’s readings as a roundabout response to Slav & Shiyam’s discussion questions.
(more…)

Tue, November 21 2017 » Future Cinema, Manovich, database, interfaces, narrative » No Comments » Author: sRoberts

Summary: Database Cinema and interactive documentary practices – Manovich

Database as a Symbolic Form
This article is about the rise and domination of a form of cultural expression that affects
virtually every aspect of communicative life within modernity: the database. Historically,
cinema has privileged “the narrative” as the strategic means to convey meaningful information.
In fact, it has been so privileged that it is difficult to find something meaningful if it is codified
otherwise. If in lieu of seeing a film in its final composite of shots, but were thrown into all the
non-edited footage in a disorganized file folder (where file names aren’t at all meaningful but
are randomly named) could we effectively call it a film? I think most of us would be inclined to
think otherwise. But the database “structures” so much of life, that, according to Manovich, we
should start thinking about it for what it is (and certainly not take it for granted). Or at least
that’s my take from the article.
The framework of the internet is, essentially a database. There is no first or last page to the
internet, beginning or end. It has no depth, only different levels of virtuality that are
represented by other levels of virtuality (with the word “level” not necessarily implying
hierarchy). If someone were to say “oh, I’m going to go and understand everything there is to
know about the internet”, they’d be on an absurd quest, on account you can’t really
understand the internet, because the internet isn’t a thing. It’s a database. And a database’
ontology is not meant for understanding in its entirety on account that it possesses no entirety
and no boundary.
In the land of computers, Manovich future divides new media objects not just in terms of data
structures but as well in terms of algorithms. Algorithms are executable, data structures are
that from which one executes; indeed, they, as Manovich puts it, “have a symbiotic
relationship”. I should add here, that data can exist as it is or as they are (depending on what
one thinks of plurality). Algorithms are instructions needing an external instructor (computer
or non-computer). Data, doesn’t have an external instructor on account that in most instances
it has no externality or internality because it is what it is.
Perhaps the most complex part of the article – something I’m still trying to get my head
wrapped around – is the paralleling the database/narrative dichotomy with the semiological
dichotomy of the syntagm and the paradigm. If I may interpolate, the syntagm is “the dish” and
paradigm is the “freedom of the cook”; in other words, the syntagm is whatever that’s present
in communication, the paradigm is all else. So, in terms of the database vs narrative
dichotomy, it’s easy to think of the database as being paradigmatic (because, it’s everything),
and the narrative as syntagmatic (because it’s the final product). Of course, new media, inverts
this “paradigm” in the sense that the paradigm becomes the seen and the syntagm becomes
the unseen (or rather unthought).
This in essence is what this article is about.
Soft Cinema
Software cinema essentially is the kind of cinema generated and compiled by a computer. It’s
composed of two parts, a mechanism to generate imagery, and another to display it. The
details I’m not sure really matter, as really, the main point to draw here is to look at a kind of
simultaneous art made predominently through computer database processes as opposed
narrative human processes.

By: Shiyam Ramachandran

Database as a Symbolic Form


This article is about the rise and domination of a form of cultural expression that affects virtually every aspect of communicative life within modernity: the database. Historically, cinema has privileged “the narrative” as the strategic means to convey meaningful information.

In fact, it has been so privileged that it is difficult to find something meaningful if it is codified otherwise. If in lieu of seeing a film in its final composite of shots, but were thrown into all the non-edited footage in a disorganized file folder (where file names aren’t at all meaningful but are randomly named) could we effectively call it a film? I think most of us would be inclined to think otherwise. But the database “structures” so much of life, that, according to Manovich, we should start thinking about it for what it is (and certainly not take it for granted). Or at least that’s my take from the article.

The framework of the internet is, essentially a database. There is no first or last page to the internet, beginning or end. It has no depth, only different levels of virtuality that are represented by other levels of virtuality (with the word “level” not necessarily implying hierarchy). If someone were to say “oh, I’m going to go and understand everything there is to know about the internet”, they’d be on an absurd quest, on account you can’t really understand the internet, because the internet isn’t a thing. It’s a database. And a database’ ontology is not meant for understanding in its entirety on account that it possesses no entirety and no boundary.

In the land of computers, Manovich future divides new media objects not just in terms of data structures but as well in terms of algorithms. Algorithms are executable, data structures are that from which one executes; indeed, they, as Manovich puts it, “have a symbiotic relationship”. I should add here, that data can exist as it is or as they are (depending on what one thinks of plurality). Algorithms are instructions needing an external instructor (computer or non-computer). Data, doesn’t have an external instructor on account that in most instances it has no externality or internality because it is what it is.

Perhaps the most complex part of the article – something I’m still trying to get my head wrapped around – is the paralleling the database/narrative dichotomy with the semiological dichotomy of the syntagm and the paradigm. If I may interpolate, the syntagm is “the dish” and paradigm is the “freedom of the cook”; in other words, the syntagm is whatever that’s present in communication, the paradigm is all else. So, in terms of the database vs narrative dichotomy, it’s easy to think of the database as being paradigmatic (because, it’s everything), and the narrative as syntagmatic (because it’s the final product). Of course, new media, inverts this “paradigm” in the sense that the paradigm becomes the seen and the syntagm becomes the unseen (or rather unthought). This in essence is what this article is about.

Soft Cinema

Software cinema essentially is the kind of cinema generated and compiled by a computer. It’s composed of two parts, a mechanism to generate imagery, and another to display it. The details I’m not sure really matter, as really, the main point to draw here is to look at a kind of simultaneous art made predominently through computer database processes as opposed narrative human processes.

Mon, November 20 2017 » Future Cinema » No Comments » Author: slavica