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Which clippings match 'Interstitials' keyword pg.1 of 1
30 OCTOBER 2015

Ephemeral Media: temporal programmatic recombinatory practice

"Kuleshov's insights gave voice to a temporal recombinatory practice that is older than the film medium, evident for example in nineteenth-century programming of magiclantern exhibitions, where showmen learned to build – and to rework – stories from the slides that they happened to have. But these early practices, particularly as they appeared through film's first decade or so, actually made use of recombinatory logic in a double sense. First, in the hands of film-makers such as Edwin S. Porter and D. W. Griffith, the sequence of shots was manipulated to construct overall textual meaning (just as Kuleshov would later theorise and experimentally demonstrate). Second, the positioning of the films of Porter, Griffiths and others into full programmes (complete with lantern slides, actualités and other narratives) could itself radically transform the meanings of individual films. Here, the programmer (usually the projectionist) could, through simple manipulation of film sequence, comment upon or build different frameworks of coherence for a particular film. This metalevel of recombination was not discussed by Kuleshov and, indeed, largely took residual form in exhibition practice. But it was seized upon by television (and radio), where programmatic recombination would emerge as the economic lifeblood of the industry in the form of the rerun. And it provides one of the keys to television's distinctive deployment of ephemeral programme elements. Television's programming logics turn on a triad of organisational principles when it comes to texts, ephemeral and not: sequence, interpenetration and repetition."

(William Uricchio, 2011)

[2] Derek Kompare (2005) offers an excellent overview of this practice.

William Uricchio, "The Recurrent, the Recombinatory and the Ephemeral," in Paul Grainge, ed., Ephemeral Media: Transitory Screen Culture from Television to YouTube (London: British Film Institute / Palgrave MacMillan, 2011): 23-36 [].



actualites • broadcast era programming • broadcast schedule • careful orchestration of programme units • changing constituency of viewers • commercial television • content recycling • contextualisationcontinuous viewing • David Wark Griffith • displaced micro-programme elements • Edwin Porter • ephemeral media • ephemeral programme elements • exhibition practice • frameworks of coherence • frequency of repetition • iconic footage • interconnect programme elements • interpenetration • interstitials • John Ellis • juxtaposed imagesKuleshov Effect • larger whole • line-up • magic lantern • manipulation of film sequence • mass media • metalevel recombination • metatextNatural Born Killers • news headlines • organisational principles • paratext • Paul Grainge • persuasive logic • programmatic historical framing • programmatic recombination • programme bumpers • programme hooks • programme segments • programme units • projectionist • punctuation of programme sequence • radio • recombinatory logic • recombinatory practice • recycling of footage • recycling programmes • remote controlrepetition • rerun • residual form • rework • rupture engagement • self-programmer • sequence design • sequence of shots • showmen • television and broadcasting • television programmingtelevision studiestemporal contiguity • temporal recombinatory practice • textual meaning • thirty-minute rotation • timed advertisements • transitory screen culture • watching television • William Uricchio • YouTube channel • YouTube segments


Simon Perkins
10 JANUARY 2013

Interstitials: messages or declarations addressed to the viewer

"Interstitials can therefore be found within programmes as well as around them. They constitute a class of television output rather than a genre. They consist of messages or declarations addressed to the viewer from outside the diegetic worlds of fiction or the discourses of news, documentary and factuality. They consist of metadata about both the programme of the moment and the future plans of the broadcaster. They bring together the past and future of broadcasting within its present moment. In addition to this metadata function, other forms of interstitial come from agencies beyond the world of broadcasting who are given conditional access to broadcasting: the advertisers, the sponsors and the government in the form of its public service announcements. This is a whole class of television output: heterogeneous, but occupying a distinct position in relation to the other class of television that is programmes of whatever genre. Sometimes interstitials overlap with or invade programmes. Interstitials make up a class that we have to learn to distinguish. One of the problems of arriving in a new television culture is that of learning how the interstitials work – what they are trying to tell you; how they interlace with the programmes; how they shape the spaces that the programmes occupy; and how they build anticipation and delay into the development of those programmes. It can take an appreciable amount of time to become a skilled viewer as a result."

(John Ellis, 2011, p.95)

Published in: Ephemeral Media, Transitory Screen Culture from Television to YouTube Edited by Paul Grainge Palgrave Macmillan, November 2011 ISBN: 978–1–84457–434–6, ISBN10: 1–84457–434–2


addressed to the vieweradvertisersbeyond the world of broadcastingbringing togetherbroadcaster • building anticipation • class of television output • declarations • delay • diegetic spaceexposition • factuality • fictional world • forms of interstitial • from outside • interlace • intermezzointerstitials • invading • messages • new television culture • positioned around • positioned within • public service announcements • sequential composition • shape the spaces • sponsors • television • television output • television programmes


Simon Perkins
24 FEBRUARY 2011

Animated décollage technique used to produce 'Capitu' title sequence

"Capitu is a Brazilian TV mini–series adaptation of 19th–century novelist Machado de Assis' work, Dom Casmurro. The story centres on an ageing man looking back on his life in an attempt to discover whether his best friend is the true father of his son, who he has raised with his wife, Capitu. De Assis' novel is now considered one of Brazil's most important Modernist texts and, in order to convey its radicalism, motion graphics studio Lobo looked to the Dadaist movement as inspiration for the TV show's opening titles and interstitials. The team referenced what several avant–garde artists called 'décollage', a process where–rather than building up an image through layering–cutting and tearing instead reveals layers of buried images."

(Patrick Burgoyne, 28 April 2009)

Fig.1 'Capitu' title sequence.

Fig.2 The making of 'Capitu' title sequence.



19th century2008avant-gardeBrazil • Capitu • Carlos Bela • collagecut-up • cutting and tearing • Dada • decollage • design • Dom Casmurro • Globo Networks • illustrative styleinterstitialsjuxtapositionlayerlayering • Lobo • Machado de Assis • Mateus de Paula Santos • mini-series • Modernist texts • motion graphicspaper • Roger Marmo • title designtitle sequenceTVvisual design


Simon Perkins

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