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Abstract

In this paper, I study the narrative structure and the layers of meaning in the Treme (2010-2013), using the concept of rhizome introduced in A Thousand Plateaus by Deleuze and Guattari (1987) and the Hannerzian “root metaphor” of creole culture. As for New Orleans in the Treme, music makes the narrative structure not just multilinear but rhizomatic. Moreover, spontaneity and hybridity highlight dialogicity and poliphony as well as a strong ironic and subversive capacity concerning music and creole culture. On a narratological level, analysing the critical representation of social problems after the destruction of Hurricane Kathrina raises the problems of focalization and narratorial distance

Abstract

After discussing the limits and potentialities of the definitions of travel writing proposed by Paul Fussell (1980). Patrick Holland and Graham Huggan (1998) and Jan Borm (2004), the article presents a characterization of travel writing both as a genre with a precise rhetorical status, as well as a praxis of knoivledge, which derives from the interplay between travelling and writing. Building on this, a comparison between two Italian travel books and two Italian travel blogs about China is proposed. Specifically, by considering these texts as “intermedial transpositions” (Wolf 2008) that realize the same generic and epistemological matrix (i.e. travel writing), a Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (MCDA) is conducted in order to assess: 1) how the book and the blog, as different medial formats, interpret the rhetorical features of the travel writing genre: and 2) to what extent the gnoseological and cross-cultural potentials of travel writing, as a praxis of knowledge, is affected by the process of transposition.

Abstract

As transmedia franchises increasingly populate our cultural environment, many questions arise about the effect of the different media involved in the depiction of storyworlds. Through the analysis of different examples, with special emphasis on the particular case of The Walking Dead, and drawing primarily from Henry Jenkins’s concept of “transmedia storytelling” and Jens Schroter’s concept of intermediality, this paper aims to show how different media aesthetics contribute to the process of storytelling and enrich the experience of the consumer. Usually overlooked in other analyses, we argue that these formal and aesthetical characteristics, such as the interactive nature of video games, call for a broader approach that transcends the accustomed search of common narrative aspects. This will be exemplified by a closer comparative look at the adventure game The Walking Dead: The Ganie (Telltale Games, 2012) and The Walking Dead: Survival Instiiict (Terminal Reality, 2013). The transformations that the different media demand contribute not only to the narrative, but also provide different tools for the construction of storyworlds and different ways to engage with it.

Abstract

Keynote talk given at the conference of ISIS <http://lnu.se/research-groups/isis?l=en> (International Society for Intermedial Studies) “Rethinking Intermediality in the Digital Age” organized by the Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, between the 24th and 26th of October 2013. (The photos of Henry Jenkins illustrating the article were taken by Ágnes Pethő.)

Abstract

In spite of the noticeable practices within the field of Adaptation, Adaptation theory seems to be lagging behind whilst perpetuating various fallacies. Geoffrey Wagner’s types of Adaptation and Kamilla Elliott’s proposed concepts for examining adaptations have proved useful but due to their general applicability they seem to perpetuate the fallacies existing within the field of Adaptation. This article will propose a context-specific concept pertaining to Media Franchise Culture for the purpose of examining Adaptations and re-assessing long-held debates concerning the Original, the Content/Form debate and Fidelity issues that cater to the twelve fallacies discussed by Thomas Leitch.

Abstract

Digital technology has often been discussed in relation to how it changed either the production or the reception of audiovisual cultures. This paper will consider a combination of both as a crucial part in understanding strategies of inter- and transmedial amateur creativity. Based on an experimental ethnography of the online video subgenre/subculture “YouTubePoop,” the paper will elaborate on the connection between the individual experience and the creation of digital media. The loose collective of independent amateurs behind the YouTubePoop videos makes use of already existing audiovisual material ranging from television shows to videos of other YouTube users. The re-created remixes and mash-ups are characterized by their random selection of original material and their nonsensical humour. Hence, the rapid montage of this heterogeneous content is just as much part of the intensified aesthetic expressiveness as are the applied special effects available in the digital video editing software. Both aspects highlight the strong interdependence of the rapid accessibility of online content and digital technology and the new aesthetic expressions they are fostering. The paper will show how the experience and navigation of digital interfaces (editing software, media players, or homepages) affect the design and practice of these video-remixes. This will open the discussion about intertextual strategies of media appropriation to an aesthetic and praxeological analysis of media interaction.

Abstract

It is commonly known that medial reflections have been initiated by attempts to secure the borders of discrete medial forms and to define the modus operandi of each essentialized medial area. Later on, the focus of study has shifted to plurimedial formations and the interactions between predefined medial genres. In the last few decades, taxonomic approaches to various multi-, inter-, and transmedial phenomena dominated the discussions, which offered invaluable support in mapping the terrain, but at the same time hindered the analysis of the ephemeral, time-dependent aspects of plurimedial operations. While we explore the properties of each medial configuration, we lose sight of the actual historical drivers that produce ever-new configurations. My thesis is that any discourse on intermediality should be paralleled by a discourse on cultural intermittency, and consequently, media studies should involve an approach that focuses on the “ecosystem” of the constantly renewing media configurations from the point of view of their vitalizing potential and capability to trigger heightened experiences. This approach draws much inspiration from K. Ludwig Pfeiffer’s media anthropology that gives orientation in my paper.

Abstract

In the last ten or fourteen years there has been a debate among the so called ludologists and narratologists in Computer Games Studies as to what is the best methodological approach for the academic study of electronic games. The aim of this paper is to propose a way out of the dilemma, suggesting that both ludology and narratology can be helpful methodologically. However, there is need for a wider theoretical perspective, that of semiotics, in which both approaches can be operative. The semiotic perspective proposed allows research in the field to focus on the similarities between games and traditional narrative forms (since they share narrativity to a greater or lesser extent) as well as on their difference (they have different degrees of interaction); it will facilitate communication among theorists if we want to understand each other when talking about games and stories, and it will lead to a better understanding of the hybrid nature of the medium of game. In this sense the present paper aims to complement Gonzalo Frasca’s reconciliatory attempt made a few years back and expand on his proposal.

Abstract

Starting from a definition of the word ‘picture’ as a real-world object that shows other objects on its surface as a representation of its image, I propose that the intermediality of pictures of all kinds is only possible through their images, after they have been separated from their material basis or foundation (for example, a painting in its physical reality can never be directly connected with a movie). In all technical reproductions of images, such as printing processes, an image is taken from a negative matrix in order to realize multiple prints of the same representation. The most effective model of this procedure is photography: photographic images can easily be connected with their media forms to produce other, more complex forms, such as magazines, printed books, or films. Intermediate images in the form of matrices - sometimes transparent (e.g. in the light beam of a film projection), sometimes opaque - are required to transform one pictorial media form into another. Finally, for the digital matrix-image, there is no longer any difference between the matrix and the image: the matrix has become its own image, which can be linked to all other media forms.