Media Objects “New Materialism”

by stronged

My ‘sketching’ for the Precursor has begun as doodling. A little bit here, a little bit there. I feel it consists of fragments as opposed to one refined product. The three questions I have been asking people are completely different. The footage I have captured thus far has been quite disconnected (i.e. riding around town, abstract shots of water) as is my concept for my Research Project. It makes sense that this is a direct reflection of my mental state. An absolute dogs breakfast of the direction I am aiming for.

I just have to keep reminding myself why I am researching this material. Need to follow the wonder that I feel in life. In the subject of interactive documentaries. The passion must be nurtured instead of considering this project to be a laborious process.

I must remind myself that the subject of Media Objects is not what it means (epistemological), but rather, what it is (ontological).

The Precursor assignment was discussed more in detail:

  • Needs to be a powerpoint presentation/slides
  • Need to open with my research question
  • State what I have created for the Precursor
  • Show the Precursor/demo
  • Indicate the Research already done by outlining key theorists/readings that have influenced Precursor
  • Critically evaluate the outcome (what have I learnt from the outcome?)
  • Do I now understand the size and shape of the area I am researching?

I feel the deeper I research the more questions I raise. At times I feel like this:

From listing the themes of the Precursor I have found a kernel of a concept I would like to expand on:

  • Reflexivity
  • Interactivity
  • Intuition
  • Syncronicity
  • Linkages – Transitions
  • Perspective
  • Autonomy vs. user directed

Autonomy for me is an interesting concept. Adrian has proposed the notion that what if, instead of us serving objects, we actually serve them. I like this hypothetical. It ties in with my prior reading of how interactive documentaries are living entities unto themselves. In the process of interaction they evolve, change, grow. It is another organism we interact with. It communicates through visual and auditory cues. We interact with it by selecting signifiers presented within it’s interface. Just as we judge someone’s mood by evaluating their facial patterns, so we judge our next move when interacting with this generative media by assessing the information it presents for us. A series of signals, as Jussi Parikka discusses Wolfgang Ernst’s theory in his paper Operative Media Archaeology: Wolfgang Ernst’s Materialist Media Diagrammatics, machines and hardware communicate in ‘processes, flows and signals,’ and therefore are not ‘”just” hardware and machines.’ (55) Ernst explains that communication between machines, or between machines and humans, is ‘time-critical’. Any information exists as a series of patterns, groups and code. My house mate Finn often learns new coding language in order to be an effective web designer. Some languages are easier to learn than others. Some are simply dialects as opposed to whole new systems of coding.  

Back to narratives:

I wonder whether we would do the things we do if it was not for the narratives that we have heard/experienced. Narratives direct us in how we conduct our lives. If you think about the moral codes and system of values you have, they have been learned through a process of constructing narratological experiences.

Adrian recommended I track down Levi Bryant’s Democracy of Objects. I intend to get stuck into that as well as Lev Manovich’s The Language of New Media.

I am wary about constructing a Powerpoint presentation and how my “doodling” will pull together in the end. There are a few more interviews to edit in Premiere, but I am tempted to try giving my respondents a time limit and videoing them with my iphone instead. This will hopefully enable me to use the raw clips in Korsakow without using Premiere as the middle-man. However, there is still the issue of bandwidth. There’s no way in hell I’ll be able to upload the video in Dropbox as I shoot the interviews. Some friends are coming over tonight so I may give this a go.

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