FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

New Voices in Indie New Media

by DAVID ROSEN

On April 20th, the Tribeca Film Institute held its 2nd “Interactive” conference as part of Tribeca’s 11th film festival. In the spirit of the wonderful eclecticism that marks the curatorial originality of the festival’s film selections, Ingrid Kopp, Tribeca’s director of digital initiatives, pulled together a diverse assortment of new-media projects from across the country to show the vitality of local makers engaged in what was broadly referred to as “transmedia storytelling.”

And transmedia storytelling is the right concept. Digital technology has superseded analog media, permitting more then simply rendering a linear wave signal into a series of 1s and 0s. It permits the reconception and integration of traditionally distinct media formats – like live presentation, text, photos, drawings, animations, video and audio – into new types of aesthetic experiences. It enables

21ST century digital media, the culture high-performance production tools (shooting, editing, music) and smart handheld device, 3G or 4G wireless networks, Internet connectivity and all at an affordable price.

Transmedia storytelling also permits personal experience to become a social expression, reconceiving the relationship between the active ”maker” and the passive “audience.” The traditional one-way, monologic media relation is being augmented by an increasing reliance on two-way, dialogic relations. Aspects of these dynamic tendencies in digital media were displayed and discussed by various presenters at Tribeca. (Sadly, the Tribeca Inactive site does not offer links to all the presentations.)

* * *

A variety of different approaches to innovative storytelling were showcased. Ten were part of a nationwide undertaking dubbed “Localore” that highlight public radio and TV stations working on community-based projects. They were produced through the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), a network of nearly 1,000 media makers, journalists, producers, technologists and sound artists.

Among the Localore projects presented were: “Austin Music Map,” what else?; “Reinvention Stories,” in which residents of Dayton, OH, one of America’s “fastest-dying cities,” reflect on what’s happening; “Ed Zed Omega,” which asks Twin City, MN, kids, “What does school accomplish?”; and “Sonic Trace,” the voices of Latin American immigrants living in Los Angeles.

Some projects showed how new-media could be harnessed to address more social or political issues. Deanna Zandt’s presentation was illustrative. In the wake of the Susan B. Komen Foundation’s intentions to stop supporting Planned Parenthood, she launched an exemplary grass-root campaign — “Planned Parenthood Saved Me” — that helped turn the tide.

Other projects suggest new forms of transmedia storytelling, including the reinvention of old media. Marisa Jahn profiled “New Day New Standard” that utilizes a good-old telephone hotline to reach nannies, housekeepers and other domestic workers. Tiffany Shlain’s “Cloud Filmmaking” creates short collaborative works based on video material curated from contributions from people all over the globe and then customized for local non-profits. Hank Willis Thomas introduced “Question Bridge: Black Males,” which addresses the issue of black male identity. And “Welcome Table,” a project by Joslyn Barnes and Fekkak Mamdough, uses an art installation to reveal the lives and working conditions of restaurant kitchen workers.

Still other projects took new-media storytelling in very different directions. The Film Board of Canada showed a clip Stan Douglas’ “Circa 1948,” what it calls “a 3D historical augmented reality app” recreating Vancouver in ’48.  Two media artists, James George and Jonathan Minard, displayed “CLOUDS,” a 3D online video work of art using open-source tools and with Kickstarter funding.  And Casey Pugh demonstrated “Star Wars Uncut,” a wonderfully creative reconception of a movie classic with the addition of “crowd filmmaking.”

More was shown and much more talked about, including panels about adventure games and hardcore programming.  What it all showed is that the spirit of indie new-media is a live and flourishing.

David Rosen writes the Media Current column for Filmmaker and regularly contributes to the Brooklyn Rail.  Check out www.DavidRosenWrites.com; he can be reached at drosennyc@verizon.net.

David Rosen is the author of Sex, Sin & Subversion:  The Transformation of 1950s New York’s Forbidden into America’s New Normal (Skyhorse, 2015).  He can be reached at drosennyc@verizon.net; check out www.DavidRosenWrites.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail