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Media Fabrics
{ Mon, 17 May 2004, 14h00 }

By: Glorianna Davenport  [ show info ]

Story creation is an activity of intelligent play, an expressive exploration and sharing of constructed meaning. Storytellers transform real-life observations into narrative through acts of selective inclusion, synthetic emphasis, time distortion and metaphoric encapsulations. Temporally ordered, their tales present a progressive flow of state-changes that have ever been shaped within the empowering and framing constraints of their chosen media. Over the past two decades, the tools of cinema have become mass-marketed as consumer goods. Today, the camera has become integral appendage of our ever-present communication devices such as the cell phone and hand-held PDAs. Always on and always attached to their increasingly peripatetic mobile owner, this group of devices brings into being the new notion of a "media fabric," a vast collection of small media elements that can be sampled, navigated, sequenced, and rendered, enabling media-rich dialogs to take place as real time, highly distributed social interactions.

As an ever-growing portion of the population engages in playful real-time media interactions, it is no longer possible to characterize their roles and activities as singularly those of 'author' or 'editor', 'consumer' or 'performer;. rather they need to engage transparentyly in a range of of roles, acting at one moment as improvisational creator and at another as audience engaged in consumption, reflection, exchange and meta-commentary. In this talk, I explore fundamental characteristics of the media fabric, introduce three complimentary research frameworks-- Us++, Mindful Documentary, and Emonic Interaction -- that extend our control over and participation in this dynamically evolving and co-creative media space, and discuss current work at the MIT Media Lab and Media Lab Europe in sensible narrative construction.

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