Let’s talk about which kind of artpieces would correspond to a trans-media public.

Let’s talk about which kind of artpieces would correspond to a trans-media public.

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4 Answers

Dear Blupi,

In the context of an exhibition – because HTWW wants to operate in different contexts and the exhibition is one of them – how this pratice of transmedia storytelling could be addressed? And is there any role to play from the transmedia public? Is the exhibition an outmoded way of presentation/representation?

Sorry, too many questions…

 

 

  1. Dear Charlotte,

    good questions 🙂

    On how the transmedia storytelling could be adressed, I have one artistic project which is very close to the transmedia storytelling described by Jenkins : The jejune institute project http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/us/22bcculture.html . It was set up by an artist from Oakland Jeff Hull.

    In this particular show I feel that Cuss group and Gilles Fürtwangler are the two in which we can see those kind of energy. Gilles wrote 4 different poems, some are printed in the publication, two others on posters and he’s gonna make a live concert at the end of the show. The posters pops up here and there in the city and the publication can be found outside of le Commun but all the part of the poems are telling one same story so maybe we can see here a kind of transmedia approach?

    For my part, I tried to built it once. I got invited to give a conference in the frame of an exhibition display which was a trailer for HTWW. It had to take place in an artist run space for one evening only. I decided to make the conference take the form of his subject. I changed the classical talk format by fragmenting it and spreading it on different times formats and places during the evening. Concretely the conference was cut in 4 distinctive parts: I gave a very short regular talk (around 20 minutes) which was in itself already multi-media based, using recorded voices, projection, different type of discourses, etc., another part of the conference consisted on a readen text made of theoretical quotes putting one after the other without signatures. This text was recorded with a male voice and played inside one of the two toilet cabin of the space. The door was close from the inside and fake shoes were visible from under the door to make it look like if another speaker was repeating his conference. The third part was an online evolutive diagram visible on a tablet in the space in which people were able to navigate. And the last part was made of anecdotes. I told them to some of my friends before the event and ask them to drag them into the conversation as their owne during the post-talk drinking moment.
    This part was really funny because people where thinking to be in a regular “opening” moment but actually they where all speaking about transmedia experiences and still part of the conference without really noticing.

    But all those projects are not just exhibitions and it leads us directly to your last question… Transmedia projects intrinsically uses different platforms and are built to involve people in the story/decision line. In that sense, it addresses many questions to the classical exhibition format. First it usual character of indivisibility or wholeness (entier). And then, among other the status of the Author/Curator/Artist as the main and only creator; the question of the evolution in the process; as well as the fact that by involving more people it can induce the unexpected and the possibility of fail.
    You said that “storytelling has been one of the main attribute of art practices » and you are very true. In that way a part of our practice will surely be influenced by those new way of telling stories.

    I know that you’re also teaching, do you already noticed it in your student works or thoughts ?
    And do you have any interesting project poping in mind which really plays with this idea of telling stories (in the new or classical way of it)?

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I found that there is an interesting relationship between the Death of the Author and the born of the reader in Transmedia storytelling.  I am interested in Transmedia as process, since Jenkins defines transmedia as a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated experience. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story. Transmedia stories, as defined by Jenkins, are based not on individual characters or specific plots but rather complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories. This world building encourages encyclopedic impulse. It is interesting how Barthes foresaw this stating “we know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single ‘theological’ meaning (the ‘message’ of the Author-God), but is a space of many dimensions, in which are wedded and contested various kinds of writing, no one of which is original: the text is a tissue of citations, resulting from the thousand sources of culture”.

Transmedia practices may expand the audiences by creating different points of entry for different audience segments. Ideally, each “episode” must be accessible on its own terms even as it makes a unique contribution to the narrative system as a whole. With “additive comprehension,” we understand more of the whole by adding a little piece of information.  According to Jenkins, this is the ideal aesthetic form for an era of collective intelligence, to refer to new social structures that enable the production and circulation of knowledge within a networked society. Participants pool information and tap each other expertise as they work together to solve problems, think through concepts. Transmedia narratives also function as textual activators – setting into motion the production, assessment, and archiving information.

A transmedia text does not simply disperse information: it provides a set of roles and goals which readers can assume as they enact aspects of the story through their everyday life. The encyclopedic ambitions of transmedia texts often results in what might be seen as gaps or excesses in the unfolding of the story: that is, they introduce potential plots which can not be fully told or extra details which hint at more than can be revealed. Readers, thus, have a strong incentive to continue to elaborate on these story elements, working them over through their speculations, until they take on a life of their own. Fan fiction can be seen as an unauthorized expansion of these media franchises into new directions which reflect the reader’s desire to “fill in the gaps” they have discovered in the commercially produced material. This is also presented in Barthes stating “the reader has never been the concern of classical criticism; for it, there is no other man in literature but the one who writes. We are now beginning to be the dupes no longer of such antiphrases, by which our society proudly champions precisely what it dismisses, ignores, smothers or destroys; we know that to restore to writing its future, we must reverse its myth: the birth of the reader must be ransomed by the death of the Author”.

Roland Barthes, The Death of the Author (Parker)
Henry Jenkins, “The Revenge of the Origami Unicorn: Seven Principles of Transmedia Storytelling”

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My mom always told me that if someone has already said something well, it’s better to just borrow their word than to make less good. 🙂 So for all what follows, I’ll just borrow words to Henry Jenkins, Pierre Levy, Frank Rose and some who have already spoke about this matter better than me.

First maybe it’s good to remind what transmedia is :

Transmedia uses multiple media platforms tell « something » (game, story, etc). Each media piece—whether it’s a comic, novels, video games, mobile apps, or a film—functions as a standalone story experience—complete and satisfying but it also contributes to a larger narrative. The process is cumulative and each piece adds richness and detail to the story world (such as character backstories and secondary plotlines).

Transmedia storytelling is participatory and asks the public to be active. The unfolding story design creates the motivation to engage with other participants, seek out other parts of the story, and contribute to the narrative by adding content. Transmedia stories can be simple, across a few low-tech media platforms or break down the barriers between the story and reality by bringing the narrative out into the real world, in the form of complex and exciting alternative reality games (ARGs), where participants engage with narrative elements and characters using real world locations as part of the storyworld.

So a transmedia public could be resumed like this :

  • They are interactive audience. No more potato couch. They are not only media-consumers but also media-producers, media-critics, media-publicists, media-distributors.

 

 

I can also ad a quote which inspired me this question and which we can maybe discuss.

« Pierre Levy speculates about what kind of aesthetic works would respond to the demands of his knowledge cultures. First, he suggests that the “distinction between authors and readers, producers and spectators, creators and interpreters will blend” to form a “circuit” (not quite a matrix) of expression, with each participant working to “sustain the activity” of the others. The artwork will be what Levy calls a “cultural attractor,” drawing together and creating common ground between diverse communities; we might also describe it as a cultural activator, setting into motion their decipherment, speculation, and elaboration. »

Henry Jenkins, convergence culture, where old and new media collide, p.95

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Could you define the notion of trans-media public?

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