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ENG287 March 20 - Born-Digital Fiction: Multimedia

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University of Toronto St. George
Adam Hammond

ENG287 – March 20 , 2013 Instructor – A. Hammond Born-Digital Fiction: Multimedia Inanimate Alice and Dakota  What happens when you mix words with other kinds of media? Inanimate Alice is one of the most 'played' multimedia texts out there right now o e-books are just paper under glass, why not incorporate all the multi-media elements? - Kate Pullinger  The author has control over the pace at which the reader gets through the text o Reader's control how slow or how fast they go through a literary text o With inanimate alice you can't go any faster than the author wants you to  Hammond - I.A. is a 'failure' of literature but an exemplary failure o Success:  People actually read it  Primary level educators utilize it to teach kids  It's good at explaining why it's not good literature  3 motifs that allow it to acknowledge that it's not good and there's room to grow o Leitmotif  Builds significance by recurring (theme associated with a person, idea or situation) o Opera was thought to bring the arts together and digital multi-media is doing the same thing though not the same way o Nietzsche  Excited about the idea of combining arts together and the whole effect together was perceived as something 'new'  Excited about the combination of Apollo and Dionysus  Apollo - art that brings calm and beauty, in doing perfect representations it brings clarity and gives the reader a definition of the world, Individuation, civilised song  Dionysus - art that gives you a sense of madness, drunkenness, the boundaries between self and other are diminished, all about destroying the beautiful vision that Apollo creates  Pro-Dionysus because European art is too Apollonian but it doesn't have to be either-or, there can be a combination of the two, both an individual and part of the mass at the same time  Link to McLuhan: "Print technology created the public. Electric technology created the mass… The new technology demands that we abandon the luxury of this posture, this fragmentary outlook."  Looking for a synthesis in the same way that Nietzsche is  Lietmotif #1: Electrosmog ENG287 – March 20 , 2013 Instructor – A. Hammond o I.A. acknowledges that it isn't wholly successfully interactive literature through electrosmog o I.A. is often called 'gimmicky' - it did start as a gimmick o This game was originally an advertisement for the electrosmog detector o It was originally commissioned to bring attention to this issue  Uses electrosmog as a gimmick o Electrosmog is old technology and new innovations not getting along o The electrosmog is a new medium clashing with the old one  The reader is the old media  Lietmotif #2: Matryoshki: Russian Dolls o The Russian Doll is a symbol of the layering of the different forms of art  All of the media is interwoven  At the same time, the dolls just contain other dolls they aren't interwoven with each other in the same way that the different forms are just thrown into I.A.  They come together but they don't form some new combination  Lietmotif #3: Bildungsroman and Kunstlerroman o Structures itself as a kunstlerroman  Its about Alice and her aging, each episode becomes progressively harder and more complicated  Watching interactivity 'grow up' with Alice  Also incorporates Alice's need to include pictures, drawi
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