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January 17: Multimodal Editing and the Future

Today, we’ll be bringing together scholars from around the US to discuss how we edit, review, and generally think about multimodal editing. The session will be led by Julia Lesage (University of Oregon) and Alex Juhasz (Pitzer College). Some preliminary notes are below, with more to come soon!


Notes for ADA workshop: Critiquing Multimodal Submissions

Julia Lesage, Jan. 17, 2014


1. I approach critiquing creative media projects by trying to get into the mindset of the person creating the work, both in terms of the content and its potential unfolding for various viewers, and in terms of the technical and aesthetic aspects of how the piece fits together. Perhaps this means that the reviewer can address only part of the process the author has gone through. We could tease out the various levels at which this kind of critique could be written, and equally important, the way it should be phrased. For example, should the reviewer address her own paths through the project. Should she skype with the author to ask questions or carry on a dialogue?

2. What kinds of models, bibliography, web links, further research might we recommend? That could be both general, a bibliography with hotlinks published on Ada, or something tailored to an individual submission. It surely should be a bibliography that various readers of a submission should add to. That is, in addition to making a submission “better” we should open up further horizons for the maker, to deal with now or in future work. Most multimodal submissions to Ada will probably come from people who teach new media and also do research on the subject. So they would be interested in our collective wisdom.

3. Because of the time it takes to do a multimodal work, we should probably assume that by the time it wends its way to Ada as a submission, it has probably already been a project vetted by others, perhaps as an MFA thesis. For that reason, there may not be a lot of flexibility to change things on the author’s part. Also, creative authors/mediamakers vary a lot in their access to resources or funds for doing a polished project. For that reason, perhaps the thing easiest to change would be a writer’s statement of goals and procedures, or background to the project, that often accompanies a creative work.

4. It is also likely that the author may have or may want to have her own web site to house this work and extensions of it. What do we think about that? My own opinion is that we could make suggestions for such a site and how it could serve the maker.

5. A few web sites participants can look at — examples of multimodal work:

The Wrong Crowd, http://www.abc.net.au/wrongcrowd. This is a multimodal autobiography and social commentary by Debra Beattie. Also available online is the text of her thesis, with much information about multimodal work: “The Wrong Crowd: an Online Documentary and Analytical Contextualization,” thesis, Faculty of Creative Industries, University of Queensland, Dec. 3, 2008. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/15874/

Michelle Citron, Queer Feast. http://queerfeast.com. This is a tetralogy of creative work about lesbian history, desires, and Citron’s own complex family heritage.

“Memoradic memory in The Shoebox,” by Janet Marles. Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media no. 52, fall 2010. http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/jc52.2010/marlesShoebox/

Midi Onodera, “Movies in Miniature, Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media no. 55, fall 2013. Onodera is one of Canada’s foremost experimental film and videomakers. http://www.ejumpcut.org/currentissue/OnoderaMinMovies/index.html

Alex Juhasz has lots of experience with multimodal work and can offer a bit of reflection on her own process with the YouTube “book” as it went through its various stages.




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