Journeys in Travel
nonlinear database essay
single or multi-screen video installation, which is based on an algorithmic computer-controlled system and tells a story of travel. The Open Source Software 'PD', a real-time music and multimedia environment, 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.
An on-going multi-disciplinary research project in digital film practice, the experimental database video installation investigates contemporary modes of non-linear storytelling based on algorithmic computer-controlled systems. It tells an open-ended story of travel requiring viewers to participate in the production of meaning and challenges linear narrative by investigating structural relationships between travelogue, cinematic essay and database narrative. It contributes to film and media studies by A) proposing that the episodic structure of travelogue and the mixed-genre approach of cinematic essays are appropriate forms for database aesthetics, and identifies this hybridisation as a ‘database essay.’ B) Investigating film rhythm and the viewer’s cognitive and emotional engagement in the narrative construction as a central feature that is overlooked in the development of nonlinear narratives and under-theorized in film theory. Working across disciplines (film/media studies, neurology, neurocinematics), the research draws on recent findings from neurophysiology on rhythm in relation to audiovisual perception (Karen Perlman 2009, Daniel Levitin 2008, etc). It transposes these findings to the structure of nonlinear film narration by 1) an analysis of audio-visual components (image, sound, music, text) and principles of alignment in film montage for the creation of a database of video clips with ‘micro’ narrative structures and distinguishable perceptive, emotional and intellectual qualities and 2) by controlling the ‘macro’ narrative structure / film rhythm via a computer algorithm that alternates an audiovisual stimulus for the viewer based on different clip features taking advantage of the mixed-genre qualities of cinematic essay.
Funded with 3 months project support by Academy of Media Arts Germany (www.khm.de). Presented at ISEA Istanbul 2011 (http://isea2011.sabanciuniv.edu/paper/journeys-travel-–-infinite-digital-database-film-project), EVA London Conference 2012 (http://ewic.bcs.org/content/ConWebDoc/46158) and IDMaA Conference 2010: 'The digital narrative: Deconstruction/Reconstruction', Vancouver (http://www.idmaa.org/idmaa2010/) and five international juried art exhibitions. Theoretical reflections published in IDMmA Journal, International Journal of the Arts in Society (http://ija.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.85/prod.739), online journal www.imperica.com (http://www.imperica.com/features/christin-bolewski-new-forms).
JOURNAL ARTICLES – ACADEMIC JOURNALS
Bolewski,C, Nonlinear Narratives: Crossing Borders between Contemporary Film, Art and Digital Media Practice, THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE ARTS IN SOCIETY, 6,1, November 2011, 239-250, http://ija.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.85/prod.739
Bolewski,C, Journeys in Travel: A Recombinant, Computer-controlled Cinematic Essay, The Journal of the International Digital Media and Arts Association, 8(2), 01st November 2011, 3-11, http://www.idmaa.org/journal/
Bolewski,C, New forms, online journal publication at www.imperica.com ,