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McLuhan meets convergence culture: towards a multimodal discourse
Transcript of McLuhan meets convergence culture: towards a multimodal discourse
towards a new multimodal discourse Suzanne de Castell
Milena Droumeva Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University
Nov 9, 2011, McLuhan100 Conference, Toronto The Gutenberg Galaxy "...the world of visual perspective is one of unified and homogenous space. Such a world is alien to the resonating diversity of spoken words. So language was the last art to accept the visual logic of Gutenberg technology and the first to rebound in the electric age" "I don't like the idea of anything being finalized. This is alien to my way of exploring the situation...I push the statement out to get a response." certainty is killing us. The permanence of writing, the attempt to be articulate, final, to get things right is opressing the importance of being transitional, creating something always in time McLuhan's multimodal discourse as a phenomenological epistemology - transitional theory based in the acoustic, boundless space of the electrified mediascape, his own form of open-ended "convergence culture" probe phrases that tease people squeeze them push at them and disturb them acoustic as sensory metaphor for a multimodal discourse It is not about multiplicity of sensorial stimulations but about convergence of modes through which we understand, create and use technology and media. multi odal discourse multiplicity vs. convergence multiplicity: perpetuating the same content across different media through alternation, addition, amplification, reducing "multimodality" to technological capability, application. convergence: bringing the idea of multimodality back to the sensorium, to refer to forms of human sensibility, forms of understanding and engaging with cultural material as we are becoming more appendages of media, than media extensions of us, we ought to move beyond studying media effects and towards understanding the depth and dimensions of technology as transformative of human knowledge and experience rhetorical responsibility: requires asking questions not about how to use media and technology to re-present existing content, but precisely what should we be creating with these tools? what types of interactions, engagements and forms of knowledge are possible and meaningful within this boundless, simultaneous "acoustic" space of media and digital technologies? being transitional as a form of convergence: melding an existing paradigm with a reaching towards a fresh perspective of knowledge, culture and society a different conceptualization of multi-modality, one that engages the senses in terms of their implications for thinking, understanding, experiencing a metaphor that reflects the mobilization of multiple ways of engaging ideas - from the unified, linear visual space through the boundless, spatial nature of media, to the tactile dimensions of technology using new media as tools of discovery for knowledge genaration, processes of understanding - different modes of thinking, creating and experiencing knowledge an epistemology of experience, rather than an epistemology of knowledge if McLuhan's form of "studied unintelligibility" was playing with text both materially (making text impossible to read) and metaphorically - through probes, aphorisms, sensory allusions and charisma (making trains of thought impossible to follow) what are some of the elements of McLuhan's multimodal discourse? making it necessary for the listener/reader to engage multiple modes of perception, a phenomenological epistemology for interacting with knowledge a multimodal discursive
resistance faced with information overload, we have no alternative but pattern recognition the importance of being transitional SEE: Sustainable Educational Ecologies The Building as an Interface doing research and building theory as an activity of convergence, multi-modal in that it calls for both experiential, imaginative, analytical, logical, visual and acoustic thinking presents "data" by extending the discovery into media's affordances, meaningfully interplaying with them sensory
metaphor content as 'illusion' - neither data nor information, it embodies the medium's social impact conflicting sensory analogies, evocative, sensory language media as electronic
circuit tribal drum hot/cool acoustic boundless
analysis Ludic Epistemologies MAP converging modes of experience with modes of analysis - interaction between perspectives and the researchers themselves Tafelmusic Metaphor as vehicle for collaboration learning as play play as learning "I use the right hemisphere when they're trying to use the left. Oridinarily people trained to follow you...and to connect everything you say with what they last heard. They're not prepared to use their wits, they're only prepared to use the idea they picked up the first time and try to connect it to another idea" probe as resonance probe as resonance probe as resonance probe as resonance probe as resonance the resonance of dialogue - pushing to get a response probe as an interactive tool designed to travel, vibrate in space, return If we can create a presentation with digital photos, digitally captured and processed sound, animations, textual snippets, are we creating a multimodal presentation? What is lost in such a formulation? there is a risky borderland between media being extensions of our senses and our sensory capabilities being extensions of media. What's lost in the latter case is the intentional, purposeful, application of and experimentation with meanings demanding deep knowing and skilled engagement with media for purposes whose significance is extended and depend by that media, not merely ‘expressed’ by it Why does this matter? charisma McLuhan's transitional theories: re-figuration and re-conceptualization of multimodality refusing finality engaging with the contemporary/shifting materials of communication McLuhan as image: a construction of the medium itself