Cinema, Readings

Authorship and the changing narrative

The new hypertext and hypermedia narrative would not exist if there was no foundation of the print form. They are binary oppositions yet they exist because of each other. Due to the new interactive form we would “read” it differently.

Jay Bolter argues that there is no story just readings of it (different interpretations). However, the readings also make up the story but everyone person is likely to have a different one. ‘The story is the sum of all its readings’.

I wonder who is considered the author then or are there multiple ones? As Jay goes on to say ‘Each reading is a different turning within a universe of paths set up by the author’. Considering the reader now would has more control over the outcome of the material then the person who wrote it then does that make them an author as well? Also we would chose our desired order. However if we were able to physically add or change parts than that could bring us closer to be an author.

In Cinema class, we have been discussing authorship in films. It is hard to define but an auteur will have a distinct style to their film, like Hitchcock, Godard and many more.  There were critics who favored auteur directors and canonised them. I thought about this point of view but with authorship on the internet. Especially with sites such as wikipedia where almost anyone can edit the pages.

Relating back to my hit record post, the company is built on collaboration and that is at the core of how it works. Hit Record is built on people editing other people’s work. There is no one author even though Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the director of the projects. Would you say that we lose a distinct style with more collaboration projects or could the form be the style?


Reading Week 4

I always opt to print out my readings because I personally don’t like looking at a computer screen the whole day. But from the first line knowing that the reading was in non-sequential order would have be easier to follow through as an online reading with links to the other chapters. Later in the reading Nelson writes that is it “best read at an interactive screen” which linked up with my thoughts at the start.

It is almost a choose your own adventure book. Where you flip back and forth till you make it to the end or wherever you want to end up. You don’t follow the traditional from the beginning to the end even though it is a book/reading which is quite different.


It was written a while ago so I found it funny how the author thought that we might be extinct by 2020. Writing in 2014, I think we will make it. Also, many of his “hopes” for 2020 have come true to an extent. His hopes arise from the benefits we will get from sharing information with others. Like the globalization of information and resources. The structure is that there is no structure or order. Rather an interactive playground for ideas to roam, be found or created.

I thought it was clever how they used the form of the reading involving hypertexts to really illustrate and support their discussion. You are not only thinking about their points but also seeing hypertext in action as you read.

Extract from: Nelson, Theodor Holm. Literary Machines 91.1: The Report On, and Of, Project Xanadu Concerning Word Processing, Electronic Publishing, Hypertext, Thinkertoys, Tomorrow’s Intellectual Revolution, And Certain Other Topics Including Knowledge, Education and Freedom. Sausalito: Mindful Press, 1992.


The Age of the Essay

The Web may well make this the golden age of the essay

This is a statement I would have disagreed with before reading through the reading for this week. Most of us probably think of essays as something we only write in school (every year) – usually about that book we studied in english. This reading argues that the ‘real essay’ is not the one are we typically used to. That it doesn’t take a position and then defend it. There is more freedom to a real essay where you are writing for yourself and exploring ideas however at the same time you do have an audience. It is interesting to what really constitutes towards an essay. The essay we write at schools has been inherited from old traditions and academic writing (like college professors).

Relating back to the statement, essays are not restricted to a medium they are about the content so really the web allows us to have more access to the Paul Graham’s idea of the real essay. On the internet there are no restrictions to what you can write about opposed to in a school there is structure and essay topic to always relate back to. Just having that freedom could make it the ‘golden age’ of the essay.


Are we recording yet?

While we have being talking a lot about copyright and creative commons this week it reminded me of this production company which is unlike others.

*Image via flickr.

*Image via flickr.

It’s called hitRECord and was founded by actor and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Collaboration and sharing is the backbone of the organisation but this involves using other people’s work to rework/remix/edit in whatever way. What is incredible is that there is a community of thousands of people who are uploading their work (songs, illustrations, video clips) and giving it up for people to use. It isn’t breaking copyright because they have given permission for their work to be used but it does contrast from the other parts of society who are desperately trying to ‘save’ their work. This system involves a lot of trust in the people who are on these sites.

One of their projects was a book called tiny stories (volume 3) and there were over 20,000 thousand contributors. If you re-upload someone’s work that you have edited you give credit to that person and any other people who they have credited to keep track. It’s giving the responsibility to them to make the system work which i think doesn’t happen that much since people are afraid of people abusing the system.

*Image sourced from flickr  from Michael Galpert titled SXSW Spring Spectacular.


Melbourne artist vs. Sydney artist: the Milk crate debate


Are they the same or not?

This article fittingly explores my question about this week’s readings. What happens if you produce similar work to someone else? Does it matter if you unconsciously did it or not?

What I have dubbed the milk crate debate (for the sake of it rhyming) is about a tale of two artists who both created milk crate sculptures. I learnt in the reading about blogs and Australian law that copyright doesn’t protect the actual idea but only the material form of the idea. Therefore they protect the milk crate artwork but not the idea of a milk crate sculpture itself.

To see if it breached copyright laws they will need to examine both pieces carefully. The Sydney based artist, Hany Armanious must prove that they have never seen the work before. Which seems to be nearly impossible. How can you prove you have never seen their work before? Or is it more so that you prove that your inspirations and source of creativity were different? While the Melbourne artist, Jarrad Kennedy firstly needs to prove that his work was independently created but also that Hany’s work had many elements of his work.