Monday, 16 September 2013

Bullets work

I've been keeping an eye on my bullet journal and the damned thing works. Ben and I were talking about it today and while we differ slightly on what a task and an event is, the rest works a treat.

On that note, I wrote a bit of an annotated bibliography of a couple of my main texts for Neal:

1) summary of the reading; why written, main arguments

2) your evaluation; who is it written for? context? what are the particular strengths (in your opinion), similarities or differences compared with other things you've read, weaknesses?

3) how you might use it; what does it help you understand better? how might you apply it? Do you see things differently? How might you question its assumptions?

- Bolter and Grusin 'Remediation' (1999)

- Auslander 'Liveness' (1999/2008)

- Manovich 'The Language of New Media' (2001)

- Chapple and Kattenbelt 'Intermediality in Theatre and Performance' (2006)


1) Basically, it's a revision of Marshall McLuhan's 'Understanding Media'. The book presents a trinity of interrelated concepts - immediacy, hypermediacy and remediation - and argues that all (pictoral) visual media since the Renaissance adheres to these rules. It touts that immediacy is the ideal pursuit, and hypermediacy has emerged as a contingent strategy to better reach immediacy. It uses these two concepts to view media evolution and the current media state, calling the interplay between the two remediation.

2) It is written for new media enthusiasts and theoreticians at the turn of the 21st century, especially those that work in graphics and digital imagery. It presents a strong case for what I call 'static' visual media, but it kind of falls apart at the point where media starts to move and become participatory or cooperative. Again, great for a one-one relationship between viewer/object, but not great when that expands to many-one. Doesn't address theatre. Has been widely accepted into practically everything - at least the historical aspect (new recycling old and vice-versa) if not the actual ideas of immediacy and hypermediacy as they are.

3) I use it as a framework to approach theatre, addressing theatre as an interface and a visual medium. It helps me understand that the theatre I like and the other theatre out there have one difference - an interface. I see that if theatre can be seen to have an interface, then the progression of photo-film-TV-new media is actually more in line with theatre than photography. I see things differently by a long way; immediacy means something else, interface means something else, hypermediacy is way cooler than immediacy. I question the static media train, the dominance of immediacy and the evolution of VR without considering theatre (immersive theatre especially).


1) Main ideas are that until liveness existed, all events occurred in the same 'time'. Since recording media entered the world the whole thing can be split into live, mediated and mediatized. Live doesn't necessarily mean co-present; there is kind of a hierarchy of classic liveness to totally delayed replication. Also, big focus on television as the dominant media form and how growing up in a mediatized culture affects how we view liveness and co-presence.

2) Written for those that love going to events and wondering why the scene is drying up. Written to see liveness and co-presence as evolving phenomena. Written in a very easy to read manner and adherent to pop-culture, but also sort of lacking in the sense of classics. Has a great argument when it comes to the court-section (at least in terms of why co-presence matters) but does skip around a bit. Big fan of the link between television and theatre in terms of liveness and immediacy, nice way to approach the differences between theatre, film and TV, and the rewrite of the TV chapter also addresses Bolter and Grusin. Doesn't pick a side regarding pros and cons of technology, which is good or bad depending on how you like your arguments.

3) I'll use it to separate out all the pieces in the second chapter, and I'll throw it in to the co-presence bit at the end. Also helps me identify a working definition for theatre, which might end up being almost the same for the new media bit if co-presence fits in that sense. It would certainly work if virtual and and physical converge into one, but i'm still unsure if I buy that. I certainly see television and theatre differently, especially in the way that each has remediated the other - and continues to do so. Be that as it may, the book doesn't deal with the actual energy exchange between those co-present in a physical sense which is a big gap for a live performer like myself. I might skip it for this essay, but overall that is a huge question.

The bullet journal reminded me I had to do it, so I did. Good lesson. If I keep all my notes in one place I end up doing everything, and if I write them down in real world pen, I remember them.

Take a bullet.

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