Nonlinear Narratives: Crossing Borders between Contemporary Film, Art and Digital Media Practice

By Christin Bolewski.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This is a report on a practice-based research project called ‘Journeys in Travel’, which investigates contemporary modes of nonlinear narratives in film, art and digital media practice. It is a single case study, which suggests as its main contribution to set new ground in the development of nonlinear narratives that the structural form of cinematic essay is a suitable adoption for nonlinear database film, which is referred to as ‘database essay’. The video installation ‘Journeys in Travel’ is based on an algorithmic computer-controlled system and tells a story of travel. The Open Source Software ‘PD’ (Pure Data), a real-time music and multimedia environment mainly used to create live-algorithmic musical improvisation and (interactive) music composition, controls here an infinite audiovisual narrative. It is a temporary, open-ended arrangement, which sets in motion a seemingly endless chain of references to related topics: Foreign places, tourism, ethnography, globalisation, a hyper-connected world, movement, pace, rhythm and the relationship of film (structure), narrative and travel. ‘Journeys in Travel’ is designed as a creative investigation into multiple modes of contemporary digital narrative constructions. The database of video and sound elements can act as a source for varying experimental approaches where the ‘data’ or ‘units’ of the story are arranged and assembled according to different computer algorithms.

Keywords: Digital Art, Nonlinear Narrative, Database Film, Cinematic Essay, Open Source Software PD

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.239-250. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 6.017MB).

Christin Bolewski

Lecturer in Fine Art, Loughborough School of Art and Design, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK

Christin Bolewski is a digital media artist and experimental filmmaker from Germany. Undergraduate studies in film, video and photography, postgraduate studies in audiovisual media at Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany. Researcher and lecturer at Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Konstfack Stockholm, UCSC, California, Loughborough University. Professorship in Audiovisual Media FH Lemgo, Germany. Her research is mainly a critical investigation of the possibilities of digital media to change, push and develop the aesthetic possibilities of audiovisual media/film art. It includes alternation and remediation of traditional art concepts/film structures, postmodern audiovisual narratives, nonlinear storytelling, combination of still/moving image, video/photography. Regular exhibitions at international digital media art events in Europe, Asia, North and South America, including SIGGRAPH Asia, Worldwide Video Festival Den Haag, FILE Brazil, Transmediale Berlin, ‘Manifestation on video-art and videomaking of the last 15 Years’ Rialto Filmtheatre Amsterdam, Electronic Undercurrents, Art & Video in Europe Statens Museum for Kunst Copenhagen, part of group exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Bonn, Dt. Kinemathek Berlin, awarded with UNESCO Webprize, etc.

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