Practice-based Critical Reflection

This video is useful for thinking about the critical reflection in regards to writing and structuring the report parts of Project 4 and the Portfolio project. Key quote from the video:

“New interpretations of experience to inform practice…”

Notes from the video that can be used to structure a response to the prmpt:

Context – local and global (the parts of the prompt ‘social media’, interactive documentary’, theory and practice examples)
Rationale framing the reflection on practice/the report (this refers to the prompt in some way).

How was the evidence collected? – through a process of engaging in practice and documenting the processes – the event and protoytpe aspects of the project (details of what? and how?)
Journey – timeline/narrative

Critical reflection
Analysis of main features of what took place
Strengths, successes, limitations
Outcomes – probable/possible

“Draw out implications for practice – how is it significant for you and others…?” i.e in this case media practice.
“reflect on the reflection…” “do the implications for practice arrived at make sense?”

Still provide evidence for your claims like a formal essay – i.e references
Do not speculate wildly without some evidence to back up your claims

Generation Like (social media documentary)

Flip lecture.Generation Like (social media documentary)

What you need to do as part of the Portfolio task:

1. Watch the documentary ‘Generation Like’ on PBS online.

From summary web page:

In the digital world, whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, there’s a truism that’s both uplifting and scary…”You are what you like.”

Reflect on this documentary in a blog post and make connections with online video practices and the focus of this studio.

Form in Film

This pdf on ‘The concept of form in film’ – taken from the old 1993 edition of the book Film Art: An Introduction is useful in relation to how we are exploring form in the OVE studio.

Bordwell, David; Thompson, Kristin. (1993). Film Art: An Introduction. (4th Edition). University of Wisconsin. McGraw-Hill is useful.

The updated version of this discussion in the 2010 edition would be more useful if using this as a source in discussions in PROJECT FOUR (as provided in the readings).

Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. Film Art : An Introduction. 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.

This is a useful quote from this reading in relation to the experiments in this studio:

…A highly innovative work can at first seem odd because it refuses to conform to the norms we expect. Cubist painting, twelve-tone music, and the French “New Novel” of the 1950s seemed difficult initially because of their refusal to adhere to conventions. But a closer look may show that unusual artwork has its own rules, creating an unorthodox formal system, which we can learn to recognize and respond to. Eventually, the new systems offered by such unusual works may themselves furnish conventions and thus create new expectations.

(1993, p.47)

Afterlife of Video

Video Theory
Online Video Aesthetics or the Afterlife of Video

by Andreas Treske

Video is a part of everyday life, comparable to driving a car or taking a shower. It is nearly omnipresent, available on demand and attached to nearby anything, anywhere. Online Video became something vital and independent. With all the video created by the cameras around us, constantly uploading, sharing, linking, and relating, a blue ocean is covering our planet, an ocean of video. What might look as bluish noise and dust from the far outside, might embed beautiful and fascinating living scapes of moving images, objects constantly changing, re-arranging, assembling, evolving, collapsing, but never disappearing, a real cinema. Andreas Treske describes and theorizes these objects formerly named video, their forms, behaviours and properties.

download pdf

Insights into writing on a blog

Quoted from the article – Why Starting a “Blog” is a Terrible Idea

I’m biased — I think we should all participate in this new form of community space, this digital world where we can place our creations. If you’re wavering about creating something, let me be clear: I think it’s time for you to join in.

To make it easy on yourself, start small. Pick one topic or project that you’re interested in, and make a small commitment to create a collection of pieces–drawings, ideas, words, notes, stories, essays, paintings, photos, or other–around this topic.

Innovative sketching

Eric Booth music educator at Carnegie Hall, New York.

I have posted this video in relation to the PROJECT THREE sketches. The aim of these sketches is to try things, innovate without to much concern about the end point. The success of this approach is demonstrated in Booth’s example of the two groups of students in the same course taking a different approach to producing a work.

Open to ideas before settling on an idea
“Don’t just settle on the first [idea]”
Satisficing to uni-directional and not exploratory (no chance of discovering accidents)
Uninhibited creativity – remove judgement, control – play to discover


Quoted from “Anti-Narrative: Games, Blogs & Other Non-Linear Forms’ by Caroline Bassett.

Narrative cannot survive the moment of information’. Writing The Storyteller, from which this quote comes, in the early years of mass communications, the cultural critic Walter Benjamin was pessimistic about the future of narrative (Benjamin, 1992). He believed that the advent of a form of life based on news and information, increasingly located in a perpetually renewed present, would leave no space for the temporal complexity of narrative’s ‘once upon a time’.


Bassett, Caroline. “Anti-Narrative: Games, Blogs & Other Non-Linear Forms.” Critical Workshops. United Kingdom: Sussex University, 2005. Print.

from artcle references:
Benjamin, W,‘The Storyteller’, in Illuminations,(Fontana, London, 83-101, 1992)

Narrative and Nonnarrative

[Bordwell and Thompson’s] define ‘narrative’ and ‘nonnarrative’ in regards to the form of a documentary and how relations are organised between shots…

Bordwell and Thompson (2010) contextualise definitions of ‘narrative’ and ‘nonnarrative’ by outlining the concept of ‘form’ in film. Form works in unison with content as part of a system that is integrated into an organisational whole (Bordwell & Thompson 2010). They state:

…a film is not simply a random bunch of elements. Like all artworks, a film has form. By film form in its broadest sense we mean the overall system of relations that we can perceive among the elements in the whole film. (2010, p.57)

Bordwell and Thompson describe most documentaries as ‘being organised as narratives, just as fiction films are’ (2010, p.353). However, the authors claim that some documentary forms can be described as ‘nonnarrative’ (2010).

In an evaluation of what constitutes a ‘narrative’ Bordwell and Thompson state:

Typically, a narrative begins with one situation; a series of changes occur according to a pattern of cause and effect; finally, a new situation arises that brings about the end of the narrative. (2010, p.79)

Bordwell and Thompson (2010) propose that cause and effect, along with time, are integral elements that help the audience connect events together into a narrative. They suggest that in most cases in fiction characters, through their actions, play a pivotal role in producing cause and effect in a narrative. Bordwell and Thompson explain that ‘characters create causes and register effects’ (2010, p.82). In regards to the notion of time in Bordwell and Thompson’s analysis, cause and effect occur within temporal constraints. Even when events are presented in an order that is not chronological the audience uses a temporal framework to place events into chronological order…

Other motivations are utilised to connect events together into a whole in a nonnarrative (Bordwell & Thompson 2010). The authors identify different types of nonnarrative: ‘categorical’, ‘rhetorical’, ‘abstract’ and ‘associational‘ (Bordwell & Thompson 2010, pp.353–81). In their analysis the ‘categorical form’ is determined by arranging material into a taxonomy that is formulated around a structured process of classification. The ‘rhetorical form’ is motivated by the aim to communicate an argument and is used to direct an audience towards a particular point of view. The ‘abstract’ and ‘associational’ forms are categorised as types of ‘experimental film’ (2010, p.368). In the ‘abstract form’ the documentary maker focuses on using visual attributes to convey a perspective on a topic. Bordwell and Thompson state that the ‘abstract form’ is created around ‘colours, shapes, sizes and movements in the images’ (2010, p.368). The final ‘associational form’, in contrast with the categorical form, connects material together by looking for illogical relationships. A key aspect of this associational form is the juxtapositions that are created through unrelated associations (Bordwell & Thompson 2010).

taken from:

Keen, Seth. “Netvideo Nonvideo Newvideo Designing a Multilinear Nonnarrative Form for Interactive Documentary.” Doctorate. RMIT University Print.

Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. Film Art : An Introduction. 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.

What is a prompt?

This course is orientated around what I call a ‘prompt’, which is used to generate an inquiry using practice and theory into what I refer to as ‘media practice problem’.
The prompt is focal point for the teaching and learning – it is used to frame the studio practice, the research
It is used to initiate informal responses – it is a type of catalyst, tool…
It is exploratory and open to different responses and interpretations, perspectives, speculations…visions of what may be possible
There is no definitive or right is about students reflecting on what occurred, what was made, the issues, problems that the practice raised…
However, this reflection has to move beyond description to a demonstration of what you have learnt, what you now know or understand and what you still need to learn and understand…

I have adapted a prompt from design research. In design research, like for example in the study conducted by Gaver, Dunne & Pacenti, they use the term ‘probe’ to describe a type of artifact. In the example provided, a carefully designed envelope that contains an ‘assortment of maps, postcards, cameras, and booklets’ (22) This artifact is designed to direct and initiate a conversation around unanticipated design ideas with the participants involved in the project (Gaver, Dunne & Pacenti 22).

In contrast to using a probe as a means to collaboratively work with other people externally situated outside the design team working on a project, I used the concept of a probe to induce ideas self-reflexively. I do this by formulating research questions as a type of ‘prompt’, to provoke unexpected outcomes. Often these prompts are open-ended and experimental. Schön’s concept of ‘exploratory experiment’ provides an insight into how these prompts are used:

When an action is undertaken only to see what follows, without accompanying predications or expectations, I call it exploratory…Exploratory experiment is the probing, playful activity by which we get a feel for things.(Schön 70)


Gaver, Bill, Tony Dunne, and Elena Pacenti, ‘Design: Cultural probes’, interactions, 6 (1999), 21-29 .

Schön, Donald. The Reflective Practitioner. New York: Basic Books, 1983. Print.

Other resources:

Cultural Probes – Qualitative Contextual Design Research (video on YouTube)