Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Nauman's Narrative Engine

I do no know a large amount about current media, so my understanding of a "loop" is very elementary, but I think I can extract a few basic ideas out of Manovich's piece. He asks, in one part, "Can the loop be a new narrative form appropriate for the computer age?" He explained how current narratives are more linear, due to how actual, real human experience is linear. Yet, due to bandwidth and storage limitations, he claims loops may not be a thing of the past. He calls it the new narrative engine because the loop, in the current computer age, drives a lot of the media. For example, although a computer game maybe appear to be progressing linearly, the bad guys may be walking back and forth across the screen. They are programmed by a loop. Also, more generally, he explains that computer programs while running and seemingly moving forward, are actually completely programmed on loops. Thus, loops are very prevalent and drive a lot of new media due to hardware limitations.
The way I thought of this when I read this piece was by relating it to some of Bruce Nauman's videos from his exhibit, "A Rose Has No Teeth." For example, the video of him falling into a corner, over and over and over again. This is on a loop. It is true that he performed this in person for a very long time, but he did not do it over and over and over again. He therefore used this video on a loop due to physical restrictions, as well as spacial restrictions (as he could not perform this stunt over and over and over again in multiple places.) Thus, the loop is used due to limitations.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Daniella said...

I wasn't sure as to where I should point this out, but since yours was the first I saw that mentioned the article and computer programs, I thought it would be appropriate here.

I believe that one of the best examples of "loop" is on a website called Weebl's Stuff. The website consists of flash videos of silly stories or nonsensical actions, and they usually don't follow a conventional plot. The video continues to loop and the music never stops. A couple of the more popular videos (that some of you might be familiar with) are Badgers, Kenya, and Magical Trevor. I suggest you guys check the website out. Of course, it will be for educational purposes...

4/04/2007 2:25 AM  
Blogger Shane_Wey said...

It would be interesting to see a video game not programmed in loops. A game like mariokart would be gigantic. The game cartridge would probably fill up a building. When coding something, there are usually times where a large number of elements are needed to be traversed. Counting 300 things can be condensed to 1 like of code. But, manually going through each element without a loop would take around 300. It seems that the more loops there are in a game, the more realistic it is. If a game is 1 big loop, using your analogy, it would be just one guy walking back and forth. With two loops, maybe a tree can be added that sways back and forth in the wind. So with 300 loops, more detail can be added to make the game realistic.

4/30/2007 12:20 AM  

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