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Transcript of Lars Elleström
The Modalities of Media: A Model for Understanding Intermedial Relations
What is it?
'The Modalities of Media: A Model for Understanding Intermedial Relations’, is my attempt to build a theoretical framework that explains how all media are related to each other: what they have in common and in which ways they differ.' (2010: 5)
We first need to start with what a medium is ...
‘The problem is that intermediality has tended to be discussed without clariﬁcation of what a medium actually is. Without a more precise understanding of what a medium is, one cannot expect to comprehend what intermediality is.’ (2010: 11)
Initial important distinction
Elleström distinguishes between the way a medium materialises itself and the way it is perceived. What it is and how we read it are different. (See p.15)
Ok, so what parts of his model can we list??
Types of media – ....?
Modalities of media – .....?
Qualifying aspects – .....?
Modalities define how a medium materialises itself.
Next week we will look at the types of media and how we perceive them in a contextual framework.
Read up on those aspects and prepare to use this model practically in the next few weeks of SITE project with me.
For you, the model offers a way of describing, analysing and evaluating your intermedial work and gives you tools to develop your practical exploration of media. It informs all of Perf 2010 AND Perf 2011,Perf 2012, Perf 3013.
To help make practical connections I will offer Performance Thoughts
within the lecture.
Medium – when the idea materializes itself / the sensorial interface.
Elleström refers to it as a 'middle' or 'interspace'.
Example – slow motion in film
Performance thought – understanding the relationship between what occurs and what is perceived has great performance potential. Eg. Slow motion – extreme slow of Stans café- we read it as dreamlike or we can fool the audience into perceiving depth of perspective or scale when it doesnt exist. eg. 'Encounter' WAC
Our focus this week is on how medium materialises itself – how it actually is – the modalities, before we decode them socially with language, culture etc
Material modality – ‘what would exist if all living creatures were to be wiped out from the surface of the planet.’ (2010: 17) ie before we experience it ‘latent corporeal interface’ (ibid)
His example – TV (not the object – not techical media but the qualified media) – flat surface of changing images, sound waves, (not words). Note – theatre is the most complex so we ‘ll put that to one side for now.
3 modes – (modes specific sub sets within modalities) – human bodies (dance), other materials – flat and 3D and ‘less clearly demarcated character’ – sound, lazer etc
See Introductory video on Vimeo for more inormation on Material modality.
Performance thought – what happens if you present something in a form that it is not traditionally expected to materialise in? Living sculptures. Liu Bolin – Chinese artist.
Sensorial modality – ‘the physical and mental acts of perceiving the present interface of the medium through the senses.’ (2010: 17)
3 levels of the sensorial – what are they? Sense data, receptors, sensations (effect)
Memory plays a major part in our sensations.
See 'bike' video on Vimeo for more inormation on Sensorial modality.
Let's look at duck again ...
Spatiotemporal modality – how we experience media in space and time.
What are the four dimensions – width, height, depth and time.
Remember though that time and space can be both real and virtual.
Eg virtual, perceived depth of cinema image.
Time – static, (sculpture), fixed sequentiality (eg film and recorded music) partially fixed sequentiality (some happenings, music for computer games, lot of live music), non fixed sequentiality (some happenings, live tv, improvised music) There are fluid boundaries between these modes. (See P.19)
Performance thought - A lot can be achieved playing with our perception of space and time and how we expect one medium to behave. Eg Stans Café ‘Its Your Film’ – theatre piece for one. Depth of film but created in real theatre depth. Objects appeared in front of you in 3 dimensions.
Performance thought - Think about how you can engage a wide sensorial realm.
Touch, heat, cold, extremes of hearing and use of sensorial memory through scent etc.