Well Integrated Media 1 seems rather popular this morning, with a total of (turns head around to count students) 10 students rocking up. In this weeks lecture, Adrian discussed the purpose of this course and what he has hoped that we have learned from it. These are the main areas:
Sketch and post-industrial media.
Sketch is not about casual or lazy work, but a way of working where you may leave a small footprint (such as you do not require much tools, equipment and resources in order to create a sketch) and it is a way of working where you may practice your making. They are lightweight, quick ways of making content that may turn into something larger in the future. You can see the thinking in the lines of a drawing sketch.
It is an everyday, formal practice that we may make as sophisticated as we like. Adrian explains that we do not need a huge production team, schedule, actors, locations and lighting etc. in order to create content that means something, instead he is trying to make us see that we are capable of being spontaneous, exploring and experimenting with new ways of making.
Why Barthes? Because as we are reading the text we can actually see the thinking being done as the text travels along. It is a ‘snapshot of what theory really is’ (Miles 2011), allowing us to not only see the output, but also the process that leads up to the output.
Industrial Media and Society.
Industrial is the key mode of the late 19th century; the post-industrial revolution era, where it was decided that the most efficient way for individuals to create a piece of work, they are placed in one ‘section’ that goes into the production of this work, such as in a factory lines, where the workers simply position themselves at their station to do the one job they were trained to do. Modern media follows this process, where time is a factor in not only deciding what content is to be broadcast when, but also restricting the time limit of each show, how many episodes that the show may have etc. Everything has these limitations, which are restricted through these Industrial time frames.
Knowing ‘How’ in a post-Industrial society is more important than knowing ‘What’. For example, if you wanted to remove an imperfection in a sound clip, such as a noticeable ‘hum’, it is much more important to know ‘how’ to do something rather than ‘what’ to do, where you may know that adding noise to the sound clip will remove the ‘hum’. You may not know how to operate the program, but it is more valuable that you know how to remove the annoying ‘hum’. Another example would be the relationship between the cinematographer and the camera operator. Why is the cinematographer considered more important in this relationship? Because they know how to shoot the particular scene rather than the camera operator who may only know what to do in order to control the camera based on the cinematographers vision. The technology will always change, but the knowledge here is the more valuable tool.
So what does this mean for us?
Well the whole purpose of this course is not for teaching us content (as we have access to many forms of content at our fingertips), but rather knowing how to recognize this content, arrange it and apply it to our particular usage rather than knowing what to do in order to find this content.
Material is about representation, about what stories we choose to tell rather than how we arrange them in order to tell it. When we see the texture of how a subject is represented, this would be referred to as materiality, rather than the idea of calling that subject by what it is intended to be represented as. This materiality is seen in our K-Films, in our blogs etc. The individual videos and blog posts are material objects, like pixels that make up an image on a computer screen. They are the components that make up the thing that is to be represented.
He used the example of how we work this way when we operate our computers, as we may have 3/4/5 programs open at once, multitasking and doing multiple things at the same time. This is how we are trained to work in this new media environment, rather than doing one thing at a time until each particular task is completed, which can be related to a cinematic model of working (such as being shoved in a dark cinema, where our attention is directed to the film until it is over). The materiality becomes about how we relate to the materials used in order to create what is intended to be represented rather than how we relate to the particular thing that is represented. We work with this multiple programs as if they are fragments in the ‘desktop narrative’ that we are creating as we work and our relationship with this narrative is with these fragments themselves other than the single unit, or ‘desktop-narrative’, that we have created, which may represent a particular entity, which cinematic working or media may force you to form a relationship with.
Coming into Integrated Media 1, I didn’t really expect to learn the concepts listed above, as I read ‘interactive video’ and ‘online media environment’ and instantly thought that the course would simply just be creating media (as is short clips and mini films) and putting them in an online environment. What I expected is what I got in the course, yet I still didn’t expect to be confronted with the theoretical back-grounding. Instead of expecting the course to be simple and straightforward (which it is in it’s practical sense), I was confronted with my whole perception of what film and media is to be completely challenged. The narrative world that I was brought up in was turned upside down and instead of my natural habits taking control, being creating media based on my own narrative vision, I was creating fragments of media that allow for the viewer to create the narrative for themselves. This was something that I found very difficult to allow myself to do, but I completely understood the concept of it.
I think I will take a lot out of this course. It’s not only made me realize how much I love narrative, but also how there are so many other options out there in the world in creating media, which is challenging and exciting.