Creating Screen-Based Multiple State Environments: Investigating Systems of Confutation

Abstract (in English): 

The intentions of this practice-led thesis are to investigate the interplay between Internet based digital narrative, image and interaction, and ultimately develop new practice, which primarily within the experiencing of the artwork articulates a new contribution to the field of study. The dual literature and contemporary practice reviews highlighted this as desired output. The predominant research in the field is not focused on the production of new projects but uses various forms of literary and critical theory to search out new interpretations and structural understanding of the artefacts in question. Similarly the reviews revealed a strong set of visual hegemonies - namely the ascent of neo-minimalism and a preoccupation with the replication of reality. My practice sits between these poles as being a hybrid of detailed line art, handcrafting and popular imagery, and as such, functions with uniqueness. The interstitial paradigm is used to support the practice, as parallels are drawn not only in the aesthetics of the work but also the politic of the communication.

The thesis is organised in three sections, Chapter 1 is theoretically orientated, aimed at defining the context for the practice. Chapter 2 is focussed on the artworks and in the main discusses the thinking behind, development and the production of two new projects -- The Bloody Chamber and Deviant: The Possession of Christian Shaw. Chapter 3 presents the discoveries rooted in the practice, concludes the thesis and finally offers some possible vistas for further research.

The research questions were set-up to investigate the structural and aesthetic possibilities on offer to the practioner when aiming to create artworks that interstitially function on the premise of confutation and resistance whilst still attempting to create a sense of narrative immediacy.

Through a combination of making practice, reflective evaluation and the appraisal of existing artworks I developed a new aesthetic in answer to the research questions. This aesthetic is termed as the "fragital". The fragital is an uncommon pairing of the digital experience -- that being the individualized remote onscreen touch, and the sense of a material and sensitive tangibility. This was used as a means to significantly and emotionally immerse the participant within the multiple state environment, whilst still in the structural accessing of the project, utilising the powers of confusion and disturbance as inherent in interstitial practice.

The culmination of the research and an example of the fragital at work -- is located in the project Deviant: The Possession of Christian Shaw. The artwork is elucidated using critical insights from a group of twelve invited expert participants and an in-depth self-analysis. This group was invited on the basis of their interdisciplinary abilities, personal voice and commitment to my research area. The objective viewpoints of these participants was used not only to aid further understanding of the perception of the project but also to help me as the artist to extract extra arguments, complement my subjective understanding and gain additional contextual insights about my work.

The different strands of the presented research work together to offer new insights into the production and concept of screen-based multiple state environments, and an original artefact Deviant: The Possession of Christian Shaw, which stands as a method to experience the core of research argument. The insights and discoveries as located in this thesis would be of use to other digital narrative practioners and those studying new media art.

(Source: Author's abstract)

Works referenced:

Titlesort descending Author Year
afternoon, a story Michael Joyce 1990
Angel Interceptor Donna Leishman 2001
Arteroids Jim Andrews 2003
Carnivore Alexander R. Galloway, Radical Software Group 2002
Cent mille milliards de poèmes Raymond Queneau 1961
Colossal Cave Adventure Will Crowther, Don Woods 1976
David Still :) David Still 2001
Deviant: The Possession of Christian Shaw Donna Leishman 2004
Egypt: The Book of Going Forth by Day M. D. Coverley 2006
ELIZA Joseph Weizenbaum 1966
FILMTEXT 2.0 Mark Amerika 2002
GRAMMATRON Mark Amerika 1997
Great Wall of China Simon Biggs 1996
Hegirascope Stuart Moulthrop 1995
Lexia to Perplexia Talan Memmott 2000
My Boyfriend Came Back From the War Olia Lialina 1996
Naxsmash Christina McPhee 2003
Patchwork Girl Shelley Jackson 1995
Peau nue Jimmy Owenns 2001
PHONE:E:ME Mark Amerika 1999
Reagan Library Stuart Moulthrop 1999
RedRidinghood Donna Leishman 2001
The Bloody Chamber Donna Leishman 2002
The Color of Television Stuart Moulthrop, Sean Cohen 1996
The Ed Report William Gillespie, Nick Montfort, Dylan Meissner 2000
The Impermanence Agent Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Adam Chapman, Brion Moss 1999
The Secret Life of Numbers Golan Levin 2002
The Sonatas of Saint Francis Michael Joyce, Carolyn Guyer, Matthew Hanlon, Andrea Morris 1999
These Waves of Girls: A Hypermedia Novella Caitlin Fisher 2001
To Be or Not To Be Mouchette Martine Neddam 2007
Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse John McDaid 1992
Victory Garden Stuart Moulthrop 1991
_the data][h!][bleeding texts_ Mez Breeze 2001

Critical writing that references this:

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Meri Alexandra Raita