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Database | Narrative | Archive

Seven interactive essays on digital nonlinear storytelling
edited by Matt Soar & Monika Gagnon

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Click, Think, Link: Interval and Affective Narrative

In trying to engage audiences with cinematographic database narratives there seem to be two dominant modes at play. The first is what I briefly characterise here as the “Encarta” model where large scale productions are undertaken that have all the hallmarks of a major studio production. Such work generally lacks ‘voice’ and in lieu of this emphasise detail, technological spectacle, and high cultural capital. The second mode is more personal. Here projects are smaller scale and rely less on spectacle than the presence of a ‘voice’ within the work. They are intimate, crafted, and in many ways small scale works. If the first mode emphasises information, the second is about experience. These minor works are ambient, associative and affective and this is what constitutes their voice. In this series of observations and reflections I intend to appropriate Deleuze’s application of Bergson’s sensory motor schema to explore a poetics for cinematographic database narratives via the cinematic interval. Here database cinema is understood to be an “assemblage” which is a combinatory system that is, as Anderson and McFarlane describe: “‘a constellation’ of elements that have been selected from a milieu, organised, and stratified.” Such assemblages enable the production of affect via complex forms of media practice suggesting, in turn, that narrative is not a dominant form within such systems. In this chapter Korsakow films are taken to be exemplary instances of such affective assemblages.
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