Saturday, March 17, 2007


This database/narrative seems to be redefined in technology today especially through the computer as its main source of media. Though the words of database and narrative seem strange; we actually use them as a physical property everyday. Databases can be storages of information such as encyclopedias websites photo galleries and on and on with all sorts of information that can be stored on a CD-ROM computer that can just be picked up or selected at any time one chooses. At first databases are not as nearly storage facilities for data which they are but they are also this new source of media and interaction. In which one does research watches video clips were listened to the radio. Databases are set in a more machinelike manner where they work and operate like machines in a linear fashion like the assembly line. How things are organized in a certain order to make it easier to obtain what you want. They also mentioned how Vertov's film Man with a movie camera is very much like a database and how it has many clips taken at random and edited together. Since the film is lacking narrative is mostly database of clips shown in different orders as seen in the editing room with local clips labeled and stacked on shelves in some order.

Now looking at narrative we can see that it is much different from a database; where there is structure to narrative but in many cases it relies on you to do most of the controlling. For instance algorithms represent the structure in the narrative, algorithms of the code the rules that give boundaries to narrative. Such as inside video games which are more open than databases, video games still have boundaries or rules and structures that were created by this algorithm. To these games there is always a point or a goal of some sort where you must follow the rules of the game to achieve your goal in a sense you have to become your own algorithm to be successful at it. So since you're becoming part machine by following these rules in this artificial world to achieve an artificial goal. This interaction with the machine creates this narrative.

Often in today's world of media in computers we see databases and narratives combined to form hybrids and loops. Hybrids are often found systems like video game systems where there is a consul that stores your information and yet one is interactive with it where there is narrative by playing games. Also seen a lot in cinema how most films have a plot or narrative but not necessarily start out shooting in that order where they have a database of sequences that can be cut and pull together to form a final product which combines the two. To save time on many of these hybrids they use loops which is an automatic sequence repeats itself in a certain situation. These loops can be encountered in both database and narrative situations I when you press a button in a video game a character will make a certain sound every time or if you go to a website a certain movie will automatically play stuff does not necessarily in your control but automatically happens usually to save time and bandwidth.

Clearly the media of today is affected highly through narrative and databases through the use of computers and other related technology and as old cinema fades out new techniques or transitioning in to the New Age of looking at the world.



Blogger Daniella said...

I somewhat agree with your statement, and also completely disagree with Manovich. The Internet was not designed to tell stories but to hold millions and millions of informative tidbits, this is true. However, saying that it doesn't tell stories is still not entirely accurate either. Everyone tells a story, whether it be by fan fiction, by an amateur video that gets constant play on Youtube, by a webcomic, or even by posting frustrations on a message board.

4/30/2007 9:05 AM  

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