Kathleen T. Pelley sets an incredibly high bar when it comes to children’s story writing if you wish to include these three points:
… I think good stories are a lot like journeys:
They involve movement – a movement of your heart – that’s what the word emotion means. So a good story can move our hearts to feel, love or joy or hope or wonder.
They involve discovery – listeners should discover something about themselves, about the world, or both.
They involve souvenirs – I like to think of story “souvenirs” as those universal truths that linger with us long after that last word is uttered – some bolt of beauty or some whiff of wonder.
I have at last count 6 unfinished blog posts in my drafts folder in iAWriter. I think this indicates that my thinking on these topics is still unclear, and at the rate I am going, may never be. Or perhaps this fuzzy incomplete writing is reflective of fuzzy thinking in general.
Media mediates — Between one person and another, one community to another, one time and another.
Media play many functions — Community building. Political debate and economic exchange. Entertainment and recreation. Propaganda and surveillance. Protest and resistance. Knowledge management.
Media are tools — We’re often told media has effects on us, making us more violent, more passive, more sexual. In fact, we do things with media. People use media to archive memories (home movies, family photos), preserve social ties (the Internet, the phone), and experience the central stories of their culture (Greek epic, Hollywood cinema).
All media are participatory — Digital media are celebrated as creating a more participatory culture, where we are no longer passive consumers but active, creative producers; people can build their own website, shop on-line, or participate in chatrooms. But media participation has a long history. When radio was first introduced, it was assumed that everyday people would be able to transmit as well as receive information; instead, radio became in most Western cultures primarily a technology for one-way, broadcast communication. Aspects of its participatory tradition remain, however, in “talk radio” or even when we choose a favorite song to express our feelings for family and friends.
– MIT Media Communication Group
Via Digital Story Telling
“By making a conscious effort to integrate narrative into our work, we are better able to support creative learning, problem solving, and task completion by the people who use the things we build. At the very least, the experiences we create will be more engaging, both for the project team creating the experience and for the end users.
Seeing the narrative potential in interactive design is nothing new
This was a very short talk given at Chiao Tung University on another one of my interests – primarily I was trying to illustrate one central point of how technology has had an effect on the art of storytelling.
Intuitively we all know what a story is, although we may not be able to articulate all its elements. Generally, a story is an organization of experience which draws together many aspects of our spatial, temporal, and causal perception.
“A story is… “that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself follows some other thing, either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something as some other thing follows it. A well-constructed plot, therefore, must neither begin nor end at haphazard, but conform to these principles.”
— Aristotle, Poetics
The primary aim of this study into The Construction of Memory is to raise and explore issues concerning the nature of autobiographical memory through still and interactive imagery and sound.
Link:The Construction of Memory
In the first decade of its existence the World Wide Web has been used primarily as a new content distribution channel. It has not yet come into its own as a new medium. In order for the Web to achieve full status as a new medium, content developers and users must take full advantage of its attributes, environment, and functionalities. The Web must go through a maturation process; the same process all new media have undergone. A classic example of this process is television news. In the beginning, television news was simply radio reports read on camera. Today, however, the full abilities of the medium are used as multiple camera angles, live and taped video, photos and graphics are all employed in the telling of daily news events.
Read: Five Elements of Digital Storytelling
I have never been good at defining something as art. I think I have always been uncomfortable with the word since it’s use is so greatly exaggerated. The following does catch my interest though but I think if the scope was greater it would be far more engaging.
This project is constituted by 18 different flash movies made with a
high-tech wristwatch camera. Each flash movie has a sequence of images
taken frame by frame of people reciting a verse that I previously wrote.
So, even when I employed a sophisticated machine to do this work, the
process was the same that was used at the begining of cinema. When you
enter the project you will see 3 different faces that establish a dialogue between them. The interaction among the characters generates a poem. Also, the number of different poems/combinations that you can get is 216. This metaphorical process of using a watch to create dynamic poems was taken from a previous work called
“Interactive media give us the opportunity to leave behind some of the constraints placed on narrative by print film and tape. The story need not be a fixed absolute in which events are forced to repeat themselves forever. It can become dynamic and the experience of telling a story can become more improvisational, a two-way discourse.”
Read: David Bliss: Notes taken from the 1997 South by Southwest Multimedia festival
Yet more on narrative, “Marc Canter, father of the computer program now called Macromedia Director, recently presented his CD-ROM Meet the Media Band at the MIT Media Lab. While presenting one component of the CD-ROM, an interactive music video where, with the help of the viewer, the lead singer explores various dating options, Canter quickly apologized for the piece having “only sixteen endings.”
I am in the process of reading Michael Murtaugh’s Master Thesis “The Automatist Storytelling System” as it has some similarities to parts of the project I am preparing. He describes his thesis as “… an “editor in software” or “narrative engine” — a system that produces dynamic and responsive presentations from an extensible collection of keyword-annotated materials. Sequencing decisions are made on the basis of association, and the overall structure and meaning of an experience emerges from the interactions of individual material presentations. In this highly decentralized model, viewers are consistently integrated participants, who exert varying degrees of influence or control over the construction of the experience. The viewers’ role is considered primarily extradiegetic; viewers’ actions influence the process of the storytelling rather than altering actual events in the story world. By making both the viewing experience and authoring process variable and extensible, the Automatist Storytelling System supports new story forms such as the “Evolving Documentary.”