Numer 2 (2) 2018
Tytuł: Transmediality
Redaktorzy: Fryderyk Kwiatkowski, Mateusz Tokarski
Spis treści
Strony
Pobierz
Ksenia Olkusz
Introduction
7 – 9
PDF

Afiliacja

Ośrodek Badawczy Facta Ficta
José Sánchez Blázquez
Defining Participatory Worlds: Canonical Expansion of Fictional Worlds through Audience Participation
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3505678
13 – 33
PDF

Słowa kluczowe

Co-creation, participatory culture, participatory worlds, transmedia franchising, audience participation, fictional worlds

Streszczenie

'Participatory culture' is a concept which gives consumers an active role in the production and design of commodities and content. Companies embracing user co-creation practices enable consumers to become contributors and producers of the products and services they care about. However, the approach taken by entertainment industries, IP owners of the most popular and beloved fictional worlds, generally gives little room for user involvement in the development and production of their entertainment franchises. These franchised worlds commonly become transmedia giants through commissioning works to professionals and subsidiary and/or external companies and by issuing brand licenses to third party organisations. Collaboration among these elites makes possible for franchise owners to control the intellectual property while increasing the revenue. Even though user participation might be encouraged to a certain degree, this call generally responds to a marketing strategy to strengthen the sales and the bonds between the company and the fan community. User narrative contributions to these imaginary worlds are merely treated as fan-fiction and are, in many cases, liable to be exploited by their franchise owners.

Located at the other extreme of the user-agency spectrum, participatory worlds are shared and interactive worlds generally supported by independent ventures which allow and encourage audiences to contribute meaningfully and canonically to their development and expansion. Contributions may be shared in a variety of media modes, genres and formats and through different channels for collaboration and circulation. Similarly, participatory worlds often are spaces where audiences can challenge and divert the original authors' plans about the progress of the storylines and, even, the whole imaginary world. The nature of these spaces commonly goes beyond the ‘traditional’ notions of authorship, audience and participation advocated by the entertainment industries and the mainstream system of textual production. This paper attempts to give a more accurate definition of participatory worlds and demonstrate how audiences can contribute meaningfully to expand them.

Afiliacja

University of Nottingham, UK
Bournemouth University, UK
Jordan Browne
Narrative Mechanics: World-building through Interaction
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3515076
35 – 50
PDF

Słowa kluczowe

Interactive narrative, environmental storytelling, mechanics as verbs, ludonarrative consonance, remediation, narrative play

Streszczenie

The narrative potential of video games extends beyond thematic retellings and branching paths of authored stories. Without a doubt, non-linear narrative structures find a comfortable position in games that is congruent with the very nature of the medium. The possibilities of multiple pre-constructed endings, however, are eclipsed by the less structured play that occurs on the periphery of plot points in the second to second interactions of the player - the procedural, experiential development of narrative through gameplay. The agencies of the player can be conceptualised as verbs of interaction; devices that enable players to engage beyond a world’s pre-authored narrative to convey meaning through play itself. Ludonarrative consonance heightens mechanics as functional tools of navigating a text to devices equally as important as existing literary and visual narrative techniques. This paper explores a variety of video games and the intertwining of their ludic and narrative elements, culminating in a case study of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind; a game that can be seen to display traditional approaches to world building, reinforced by mechanics that reveal historic lore, religious practice and socio-political facets of the game’s fictional world.

Afiliacja

Media Design School, New Zealand
Giorgos Dimitriadis
Evaluating the Coherence of a Cinematic Universe as a Prerequisite for Worldmaking in Digital Cinema
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3515092
53 – 70
PDF

Słowa kluczowe

worldmaking, coherence, cinematic universe, cognition, franchise, CGI

Streszczenie

The concept of worldmaking in cinema is closely connected with the use of special effects, especially computer-generated imagery (CGI). Digital technology has dramatically increased the level of detail and complexity of synthetic movie worlds, with a dual outcome: on one hand, it is much easier now to sever the connection with a pro-filmic reality, allowing room for synthetic worlds to arise as potentially autonomous; and on the other, viewer experience of cinema needs to accommodate this new technological reality. Following these observations, the present paper is a contribution to worldmaking theory with special focus on cinema; it assigns primary importance to coherence, understood here as the threshold level of unity among the composed elements in a movie, which essentially renders the worldmaking credible and, therefore, successful. Coherence is discussed as a desired feature of the cinematic universe, a generic concept that applies to any given movie and is comprised of the cinematic story and the cinematic world, both of which need to be made with acceptable coherence for the sake of proper worldmaking. The paper first establishes the nature and significance of these three concepts in relation to proper coherence, and the challenges posed to them by CGI. Then, it draws a distinction between local and universal coherence in worldmaking: the former refers to the viewers’ experience of worldmaking as a cognitive process which works in real time during movie watching, whereas the latter refers to worldmaking as a literary or creative term, i.e. the expansion of single movies into much wider franchises. Therefore, the paper aims at enhancing worldmaking theory by clarifying the different contexts of coherence, i.e. viewer experience and artistic creation; and by doing so, the purpose is to provide the approach with a kind of interdisciplinary impact that can further support its applicability.

Afiliacja

Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Greece
Ksenia Olkusz
Wandering Monsters. Serial Peregrinations and Transfictionality
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3515100
74 – 89
PDF

Słowa kluczowe

transfictionality, TV series, horror, literature, gothic fiction, narrative

Streszczenie

The post-modern gothic simultaneously makes reference to already well-grounded experience, such as the repertoire of motifs and narrative prefigurations which have entered the artistic canon of the convention for good. A lot of figures and characters identified with horror become a part of the transfictional process of allocating them in new settings and re-designing their fictional biographies. Although in TV series reinterpretations of classical literary narratives quite often focus on instilling a positive image of erstwhile impersonation of numinosum, they do offer in return a construal of more contemporaneous fears, aligned with today’s socio-political-economic landscape. This article will include the following series based on literary prototypes representing the very canon of gothic fiction: Dracula, Penny Dreadful, Jekyll and Hyde, Second Chance and Sleepy Hollow as well as elements of productions connected with literary narrations of horror, such as Once Upon a Time.

Afiliacja

Ośrodek Badawczy Facta Ficta
Marie-Laure Ryan
Narrative in Virtual Reality? Anatomy of a Dream Reborn
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3515106
91 – 111
PDF

Słowa kluczowe

narrative, Virtual reality, interactivity, immersion, panoramic representation, experience of embodiment

Streszczenie

When the big leap forward of computer technology took place for the general public in the 80s and 90s, virtual reality technology (VR) was touted as the “next big thing” that digital media would bring into our lives. Janet Murray’s influential book Hamlet on the Holodeck (1997) explored the possibility of turning narrative into the “immersive, interactive experience generated by a computer” that defines VR. But VR did not live up to its expectations, and after the year 2000, it faded from the radar of popular interest. It regained attention around 2011 when Mark Zuckerberg, the founder/CEO of Facebook, bought Oculus Rift, the maker of a relatively cheap and lightweight head-mounted display. Currently available VR narratives are distinguished from other digital narratives through three-dimensional images, interactive panoramic representations, and the ability to manipulate our experience of our own body. In this article I discuss three projects that use some of these resources in order to assess the storytelling potential of the medium: Clouds Over Sidra, a documentary about a camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan; Hard World for Small Things, a fictionalized version of the shooting of an unarmed black man by white policemen; and VRwandlung, a project that puts the user in the situation of the hero of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, who wakes up one day to discover that he has been transformed into a giant insect. Basing my judgment of this limited corpus, I assess the potential of VR narrative with respect to four kinds of immersion: ludic, spatial, temporal and emotional.

Mariana Ciancia,
Francesca Piredda,
Simona Venditti
The Design of Imaginary Worlds. Harnessing Narrative Potential of Transmedia Worlds: The Case of Watchmen of the Nine
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3515110
113 – 132
PDF

Słowa kluczowe

Transmedia Design, World-building, Narratology, Narrative Design Tool, Design Practice, Communication Design

Streszczenie

Today, more than ever, audiences are surrounded by imaginary worlds in which a wide variety of products and activities can be fully explored through multiple media windows. Imaginary worlds allow members of the audience to enter vicariously in the narrative space, spending a certain amount of time in speculative and explorative activities, experiencing the ‘possible world’ through the stories set within it. According to this, it is possible to differentiate between story and storyworld. While ‘stories’ are self-enclosed arrangements of causal events that come to an end in a certain period of time, ‘storyworlds’ are mental constructions shared between recipients and authors in which new storylines can be developed.

This paper aims to discuss the implication of world-building activity for the design practice. Considering narratives and world-making practices as a matter of design, this essay will tackle the following question: how can a designer use the creation of storyworlds in his practice to activate new perspectives on specific contexts?

In doing so, the first part of the essay is a brief summary of how imaginary worlds have evolved through the decades. Then, the second part is devoted to the presentation of the so-called Storyworld Canvas, one of the narrative design tools developed in our research group in order to support both storytelling practice and storyworld creation. Finally, the paper describes the project Watchmen of the Nine with the aim of analysing its storyworld from the perspective of the design domain, considering storytelling and world-building activities as ways to enrich the design practice.

Afiliacja

1 Politecnico di Milano, Italia
Federica Cavaletti
A Transmedia Overturning: Direct Address from Theatre to Cinema
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3515117
135 – 153
PDF

Słowa kluczowe

theatre, direct address, Brecht, look at the camera, cinema, medium specificity

Streszczenie

A direct address – in visual and audiovisual forms of communication – occurs any time one or more characters inside the fictional world look straight at the spectators, blurring the threshold that separates the images from flesh-and-blood reality. However, different forms of direct address can take place in several media contexts, based on the specificity of each given medium.

This is particularly urgent with respect to two types of direct address: the theatrical and cine-matic ones. While the former has studied thoroughly, mainly based on Bertolt Brecht’s dramaturgy, the latter – also known as “look at the camera” – is arguably less understood. In the absence of a dedicated conceptualization, the cinemat¬ic direct address has commonly been treated merely as a transmedia counterpart of the theatrical one, thus overlooking the peculiarities of the two.

This article restores the autonomy of the cinematic direct address and elaborates on its specific non-the-atrical effects. First, it outlines the nature and functioning of the theatrical direct address as theorized by Bertolt Brecht. Then, by adopting a semiotic approach, it demonstrates that this type of direct address must not be confused with the cinematic one. Lastly, it introduces three non-Brechtian types of cinematic direct address: namely, the diegetic, the meta-filmic, and the documentary look at the camera.

Afiliacja

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italia
Chris Hall
A “Savage Mode”: The Transmedial Narratology of African American Protest
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3515123
155 – 172
PDF

Słowa kluczowe

rap, hip-hop, storyworld, Richard Wright, Native Son, James Baldwin, African American literature

Streszczenie

This article explores narrative in African American protest art by examining Richard Wright’s 1940 novel Native Son, alongside 21 Savage (Shayaa Abraham-Joseph) and Metro Boomin’s 2016 rap album Savage Mode. I open with a discussion of Native Son as a project of protest and with James Baldwin’s criticism of the novel, and of protest fiction at large. Centring Baldwin’s critique, this article explores the violence and horror of the narrative worlds of Wright’s Bigger Thomas and Abraham-Joseph’s 21 Savage, in an effort to discover if these works are capable of complicating Baldwin’s claims and expanding notions of what protest is and how it operates.

By applying Marie-Laure Ryan’s concept of storyworlds, and the attendant “principle of minimal departure,” the article lays out a narratology of protest. The social protest of these works, I find, is rendered uniquely efficacious by the violence that takes place within their storyworlds, violence that operates as a visceral, unignorable force urging real-world change. Because of its impact on the reader or listener, violence and discomfort within these narratives directs that user toward extra-narrative action. In building on the transmedial approach that Ryan encourages, and examining Savage Mode as a contemporary work of protest that shares a narrative technique with Native Son, the article also discusses some recent engagements with rap music in traditional scholarship and popular writing.

Throughout, I put forth the argument that both Savage Mode and Native Son function as powerful works of protest against real-world conditions, protests that operate via narratives that empathically involve their users in violent storyworlds. Abraham-Joseph’s protest, then, furthers Wright’s, as both are works that operate in a “savage” narratological “mode”—one of intense violence and discomfort which, read as protest, has the capacity to prompt an activist response in the user.

Afiliacja

University of Kansas, USA
Thomas Elsaesser,
Fryderyk Kwiatkowski
Thomas Elsaesser interviewed by Fryderyk Kwiatkowski, Film History as Media Archaeology
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3515129
177 – 200
PDF

Słowa kluczowe

Media archaeology, early cinema, digital media, film historiography

Streszczenie

The interview centres around Thomas Elsaesser’s book Film History as Media Archaeology and is divided into three thematic blocks. Focusing on the origins of the book and its composition in the first part, the discussion uncovers Elsaesser’s engagement in numerous research initiatives, teaching at the University of Amsterdam, and his contribution to the emerging area of early cinema studies. Further exploration of the latter gives an insight into his views on the development of the discipline and outlines his distinct position in the field of media history. The second part concentrates on Elsaesser’s approach to the study of cinema and its interaction with other media. With the discussion of study cases presented in the book, speakers explore the ways in which non-teleological models can enhance our knowledge of forgotten or obsolete technologies and their origins. Clarifying his position, Elsaesser shows how these approaches also transform our perception of contemporary media and their history, and how digital technology shapes our understanding and the use of past inventions. The conversation within this group of subjects also touches upon hazards and limitations of applying archaeological perspective to studying media history and moves to the speculations on the future of the archaeological approach in the humanities. In the third part, the interview shifts towards broader issues, in particular: the technological transformations in cinema over the last decade, the significance of digital devices in reconfiguring our relationship with the past, and the potential contribution of media archaeology to the development of non-linear historiographical models in scholarship.

Afiliacja

1 Uniwersytet Amsterdamski, Holandia
2 Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie
Fryderyk Kwiatkowski
Film History as Media Archaeology: Tracking Digital Cinema.By Thomas Elsaesser (book review)
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3515133
205 – 211
PDF

Afiliacja

Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie
Pobierz cały numer
1 – 214
PDF
Facta Ficta
ul. Opoczyńska 39/9
factaficta.org
Research Centre
54-034 Wrocław (Poland)