Posts Tagged ‘digital communications’

My crude animation on social media addiction and relationships.

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“Where the Hell is Matt” is a short video series by Matt Harding that takes a look at locales around the world and features people of all different races, cultures, demographics, etc. coming together in a somewhat organized dance. In relation to the work of Marie-Laure Ryan, author of Narratives and Digital Media there are many factors in Matt’s videos that make them effective narratives.

Ryan states that a narrative is a sign with a signifier or discourse. Now typically when we think of discourse we think of some sort of dialog, conversation, or really any use of actual language – but in her book Ryan states that the signifier can manifest in many different ways, including that of gestures performed by featured characters. In Matt’s videos these gestures are expressed through dance. The cultural differences among his audiences would make typical, language-confining dialog ineffective, therefore his story is illustrated through mimetic or dramatic narration that is universally comprehendible.

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Tonight I couldn’t help but think of Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message” and how the way we experience a story greatly relies on the medium in which it is delivered. A perfect example of this is Avatar. In the theater the 3-D imagery was somewhat astonishing when partnered with such realistic CGI and needless to say – I was sucked in… but on a tv or mobile device the experience relates to that of when I watched Ferngully in middle school. My main question after class this evening is how do we optimize the content we put on the web to create the same kind of emotional engagement we may see in a theater or even a live scenario? If the medium is the message what is the impact the internet is having on how our media is experienced and how do we make it better?