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

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A Grammar of Connectedness

There is no grammar of the cinema. There are better and worse ways of constructing sequences and narrating or describing what you may wish to tell, but if we define grammar as the necessary order that words need to follow so that larger utterances (eg sentences) can be produced and understood, then there is no grammar of the cinema. Editing shots and rearranging them simply produces new sequences, each still understandable. Similarly, that film students need to be taught about establishing shots, jump cuts , point of view, the 180° rule and cutaways , even after a life time of watching television and cinema, while they have never had to be formally taught anything about the grammar of their spoken language, is evidence that there is no inherent grammar to audiovisual narrative. That meaning is changed when shots within sequences are rearranged is a given, but the possibility of meaning is not fundamentally risked as it is when we ignore grammar. 

The consequence of this is that in a Korsakow film , and other similarly interactive works, what is risked by their fragmentation and granularity is not comprehension and understanding, but directorial control, the belief that a particular order matters more than another. It also shows us that tools such as Korsakow are, at heart, systems for the assemblage of associative connotations. In works that become highly connotative through the sets of relations that become established between its parts, and which also remain available to the user (highly poetic works), voice becomes paramount as voice is what we call the exteriority that we need as a guarantor of intention. These poetic and associative relations are not arbitrary, or random, but are taken to be meaningfully structured and so it is through the determination of these structures and patterns that we recognise the role and importance of voice.

Similarly, in interactive works that fall within the perception image voice becomes subsumed to the facticity of information, while in those that rely upon action images technical spectacle, teleology, or play is muted into merely technical action. 
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