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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 [http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/ephemeral-media-paul-grainge/?isb=9781844574353].

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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 • interstitialsjuxtaposed 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 • repetition • rerun • residual form • rework • rupture engagement • self-programmer • sequence design • sequence of shots • showmen • television and broadcasting • television programmingtemporal contiguity • temporal recombinatory practice • textual meaning • thirty-minute rotation • timed advertisements • transitory screen culture • watching television • William Uricchio • YouTube channel • YouTube segments

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 APRIL 2014

David Hockney Joiner Photography

"British artist David Hockney talks of his photographic work and its relationship to painting. Beside the pool at his Los Angeles home, he demonstrates the visual and mental processes behind the construction of a 'joiner' photograph, a compilation of colour photographs collaged together to reconstruct as one image, a sequence of simple events. Also shown are images of the paintings Los Angeles has inspired, interlaced with Hockney's commentary on the city's character."

"David Hockney Joiner Photography" London Weekend Television [production company], 1983.

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198335mmBritish artistcamera positioncollaged togethercolour photographs • colour prints • contemplative moments • cubist conceptionscut-upDavid Hockney • Don Featherstone • draughtsman • edited together • English painter • figures in spacefragmentsframed momentsfrozen in the momentfrozen momentin media resITV • joiner photograph • joiner photography • joiners (collage) • juxtaposed imagesjuxtaposition • London Weekend Television • Los Angeles • LWT • Melvyn Braggmultifacetedmultiple viewpoints • Nick Evans • patchworkperceptual organisationphotocollagephotographerpicture fragmentspoint of viewPolaroidpoolscene reconstructionsimultaneity • South Bank Show • stitched imagesstitched togethersuture • The South Bank Show • Trove • videorecording

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 DECEMBER 2012

Theorizing Advertising and Promotion

"The visual rhetoric of ads is not, then, confined to the copy. An ad is an argument, a persuasive communication. Every part of it must support the main argument, must be persuasively suggestive. A press ad for Retinol Activ Pur face cream used a clever visual metaphor to support a claim that the cream reduced facial wrinkles. The ad featured two juxtaposed images of a beautiful (Caucasian) woman. She was wearing what seemed to be a white robe, folded over one shoulder like a Roman toga. In the background was a pure blue sky and a suggestion of white pillars, of the kind found in a Greek temple. One picture was cracked, like the surface of an old oil painting. The other was smooth. The metaphoric reference was clear: the cracks suggested wrinkles, but in an elegant way that was complimentary, not demeaning, to age. Old paintings are things of classical beauty, but the paint does tend to crack with age. The ad was designed to draw the eye across aesthetically appealing images while giving the reader heavy hints about the classic beauty they might aspire to if they were to consume the brand.

However the levels of meaning in advertisements are theorized. Acknowledging their presence lends a new dimension to the analysis of advertising as persuasive communication. It brings to light some of the subtlety and complexity of advertising design, while also allowing us to draw an intellectual connection between the various artificially differentiated categories of marketing communication."

(Chris Hackley, 2010)

Chris Hackley (2010). "Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Approach", Second Edition, SAGE Publications Ltd.

TAGS

2010adadsadvertisementadvertising and promotionadvertising design • aesthetically appealing images • artificially differentiated categories • beautifulblue sky • Caucasian woman • classic beauty • classical beauty • crack with age • demeaning • face cream • facial wrinkles • Greek temple • heavy hints • juxtaposed imageslevels of meaningmarketing communicationmetaphoric referenceoil painting • old paintings • persuasive communicationpersuasively suggestive • press ad • Retinol Activ Pur • Roman toga • visual metaphorvisual rhetoric • white pillars • white robe • wrinkles

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 MARCH 2009

David Carson on design

"Great design is a never–ending journey of discovery –– for which it helps to pack a healthy sense of humour. Sociologist and surfer–turned–designer David Carson walks through a gorgeous (and often quite funny) slide deck of his work and found images."
(TED.com)

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accidental juxtaposition • bringing into relationDavid Carsondesigndesign processgraphic design • grunge • juxtaposed imagesmagazine design • Ray Gun magazine • TED Talkstypographervisual communication

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 OCTOBER 2008

The Logic of Hypermediacy

"Unlike a perspective painting or three–dimensional computer graphic, this windowed interface does not attempt to unify the space around any one point of view. Instead, each text window defines its own verbal, each graphic window its own visual, point of view. Windows may change scale quickly and radically, expanding to fill the screen or shrinking to the size of an icon. And unlike the painting or computer graphic, the desktop interface does not erase itself. The multiplicity of windows and the heterogeneity of their contents mean that the user is repeatedly brought back into contact with the interface, which she learns to read just as she would read any hypertext. She oscillates between manipulating the windows and examining their contents, just as she oscillates between looking at a hypertext as a texture of links and looking through the links to the textual units as language.

With each return to the interface, the user confronts the fact that the windowed computer is simultaneously automatic and interactive. We have argued that the automatic character of photography contributes to the photograph's feeling of immediacy, but with the windowed computer, the situation is more complicated. Its interface is automatic in the sense that it consists of layers of programming that are executed with each click of the mouse. Its interface is interactive in the sense that these layers of programming always return control to the user, who then initiates another automated action. Although the programmer is not visible in the interface, the user as a subject is constantly present, clicking on buttons, choosing menu items, and dragging icons and windows. While the apparent autonomy of the machine can contribute to the transparency of the technology, the buttons and menus that provide user interaction can be seen as getting in the way of the transparency. If software designers now characterize the two–dimensional desktop interface as unnatural, they really mean that it is too obviously mediated. They prefer to imagine an 'interfaceless' computer offering some brand of virtual reality. Nevertheless, the possibilities of the windowed style have probably not been fully explored and elaborated.

One reason that this style has not been exhausted is that it functions as a cultural counterbalance to the desire for immediacy in digital technology. As a counterbalance hypermediacy is more complicated and various. In digital technology, as often in the earlier history of Western representation, hypermediacy expresses itself as multiplicity. If the logic of immediacy leads one either to erase or to render automatic the act of representation, the logic of hypermediacy acknowledges multiple acts of representation and makes them visible. Where immediacy suggests a unified visual space, contemporary hypermediacy offers a heterogeneous space, in which representation is conceived of not as a window on to the world, but rather as 'windowed' itself –with windows that open on to other representations or other media. The logic of hypermediacy multiplies the signs of mediation and in this way tries to reproduce the rich sensorium of human experience. On the other hand, hypermediacy can operate even in a single and apparently unified medium, particularly when the illusion of realistic representation is somehow stretched or altogether ruptured. For example, perspective paintings or computer graphics are often hypermediated, particularly when they offer fantastic scenes that the viewer is not expected to accept as real or even possible. Hypermediacy can also manifest itself in the creation of multimedia spaces in the physical world, such as theme parks or video arcades."

(David Bolter and Richard Grusin, 33–34.pp, 2000)

David Bolter and Richard Grusin (2000). Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation. "Remediation: Understanding New Media", The MIT Press.

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bringing into relationcomputer graphicscomputer interfaceDavid Bolter • desktop interface • digital technologyframed by the window • graphic window • heterogeneity of contents • heterogeneous space • human experiencehypermediacyhypermediated spacehypertextilluminated manuscriptillusionistic spaceimmediacy • interfaceless interface • James Joycejuxtaposed imagesjuxtapositionlayered meaninglayeringlayers of data • layers of programming • logic of hypermediacy • looking at a hypertext • looking through links • manipulating the windows • mediated environments • multimedia spaces • multiplicities • multiplicity of windows • painting as illusionperceptual organisation • perspective painting • perspective viewphotographyphysical worldpictorial systemsrealistic representationrepresentational modesrepresentational strategiesrepresentational systemsRichard Grusinrupture • sensorium of human experience • signs of mediation • simultaneously automatic and interactive • technology as neutraltechnology transparency • textual units as language • texture of links • theme park • three-dimensional computer graphics • transparencytransparency of meaning • two-dimensional desktop interface • unified medium • unified visual space • unified wholeunifying metaphorvideo arcadevirtual realityvisual languagevisual literacyvisual representation • visual space • visual traditions • whole is other than the sum of the partswindow on to the world • windowed computer • windowed content • windowed interface

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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