Reading 07

This is an extract from a PhD that was completed in 2013 at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), basically it’s RMIT’s sister university. The PhD is by Bettina Frankham, and is about poetic approaches to documentary. Seth and I heard Bettina present at the Visible Evidence conference (its one of the major international conferences dedicated to documentary) in December 2012 in Canberra where she gave a great talk about lists and interactive documentary.

The citation is:
Frankham, Bettina Louise. “Complexity, Flux and Webs of Connection.” A Poetic Approach to Documentary : Discomfort of Form, Rhetorical Strategies and Aesthetic Experience. (2013): PhD Dissertation, University of Technology Sydney. (Extract, PDF.)

You can also get the whole PhD.

Narrative Lists

Zoe with notes on the Ryan and Bogost. Yes, we have been making lists in our sketch tasks, well spotted/realised.. Mardy enjoys Bogost’s discussion of the role of lists in relation to language more broadly. Natalie picks up that K-films could be non narrative works and offers a great outline of Bogost and lists. Jackie too has brief notes on Ryan and Bogost, while Sam wonders about listing as a form of hypertext connection, and while I’m not sure about that the connection to montage (though only some forms of montage) is accurate. Bec has thorough notes


Ali on Kafka, The Trial, and lists. We might also add that Kafka, famously, did not finish novels, most of the works remain just that. Partial. In many ways a great exemplar for the sorts of ideas we want to explore as they are less stories than ways to investigate an idea. Gina notes a class debate on lists, narrative, cause and effect. Tom on Bogost and not connecting through language. Nadine with key points about lists. Accumulation, indefinite relations, disconnection, staccato. And that list is a good description of how to make a Korsakow film.

Reading 04

The last readings (Bordwell and Thompson) was about narrative, documentary, non narrative and experimental film. The things we want to think about for Korsakow, and our Korsakow films, fall closer to non narrative and the experimental. One way to think about what then to “narrate” (in scare marks as it isn’t really narrative) and as a method to compose such works in Korsakow is through the idea of the list. So, this week’s readings, which I confess are on the academic scale at the upper end, begin from Ryan’s outline of narrative and story, where we can see that diaries and the like might not, for her, fit the definition. This definition, which is independent of any particular media (unlike Bordwell and Thompsons), also emphasises the role that the reader has, where the reader’s attribution of ‘intent’ (so understanding what ‘intent’ is is important) is the clincher.

From Ryan there is an extract from the computer game and platform studies scholar Ian Bogost. He is a materialist media scholar, who argues that to understand software, media, and so on it is not enough to pay attention to meaning but also to what the things are, and what they can do. A method he proposes to begin to do this is ‘ontography’, and in the extract he discusses how lists are not narrative, and what they might do. Listing, in some form, turns out to be a very practical way to approach making, and reading, Korsakow films.

Finally there is a supplementary reading from material media archeologist Wolfgang Ernst. This is heavy going (well, he is German), and like Bogost, Ernst argues that simply studying media from the point of view of what they mean (whether sociopolitically, as texts, or for audiences doesn’t much matter) very much misses what they are.

[Extract] Ryan, Marie-Laure. Avatars of Story. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006. (PDF)

[Extract] Bogost, Ian. Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing. Minneapolis: University Press of Minnesota, 2012. Print. (PDF)

Supplementary Reading (mega advanced)
[Extract] Ernst, Wolfgang. Digital Memory and the Archive (Electronic Mediations). Ed. Jussi Parikka. Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2012. Print. (PDF)