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Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds Week 6, Lecture 3 Transmedia storytelling where individuals are involved. Participation by collective intelligence. These are important parts of the background of media storytelling, and as I mentioned in the previous class, they have only become possible in the digital era. However, many scholars say we have the desire to express this and that is how the changes in media environment ended up here. There is a word used to describe the mimicking that occurs, mimesis, that is used to talk about the motivation behind art. Copying something that gives us pleasure. It’s not simply the act of copying that is the key for entertainment here, but reenacting something. Like Plato said, there is a world called Idea and we materialize it.

Skip to 1 minute and 20 seconds For example, there is an Idea of a chair before anything can produce to form something called a chair. This is primary mimesis. Primary mimesis, it would seem, is about creating something of an ideal. If someone drew that chair, then that’s secondary mimesis. Artistic works, then, are about re-materializing what was materialized from an Idea. Why do people copy to recreate something and want to read into it? What significance does it carry? There are many academic arguments, but some say this represents a longing for god and many others say that it is an objection to the desire for creativity. Imagine a child drawing with crayons. First, they doodle, and after a while, they start drawing something.

Skip to 2 minutes and 33 seconds Everyone has the desire to express himself or herself, thus giving rise to the current media system. If a child draws a picture of flowers, the child’s parents will praise the child and even hang the picture on their wall. We all know that flowers growing in a field are prettier than those in the drawing, as they are more beautiful and even have a scent, but the child’s picture, a result of mimesis, is valuable enough to go up on the wall. Why? Because we acknowledge the value of desiring to replicate, and we choose to focus more on the child who drew the image.

Skip to 3 minutes and 37 seconds It’s not that wild flowers have less value, it’s simply that the child’s desire to copy is more significant, thus the work warrants being put up on a wall. This concept is highly debated among art scholars, the notion that such desir mimesis is the foundation of all creation. Because of this desire to express, stories that you used to only tell your friends can now be published and become bestsellers. And now, with digital devices, individuals have ample tools to express themselves without expertise, giving birth to countless creative works. In French this is called “bricolage,” a term that refers to the combining of objects to build something. This notion of bricolage becomes the most important in creation.

Skip to 4 minutes and 52 seconds The main topic of discussion now is, do we call them artists? But we are not here to argue that, so let’s put that aside. Bricolage is about combining and editing to create something new. It’s like doing a puzzle. Completing something. As this approach has gained value, any individual may have the technology and medium to do these “puzzles” meaning everyone can become the creator. In other words, the consumption of content began to constitute a form of creativity. It can be said that consumption and creation are no longer separate activities, and that creators have lost some of their absolute authority. For example, imagine that I acknowledge that you are a good creator.

Skip to 6 minutes and 2 seconds Even if I am not a good creator, I may prefer what I created. I know that your painting is better, but I prefer what my child drew. In such a circumstance, we see that a completely different form of value began to replace absolute values. As a result, this notion of “absolute” became problematic in the modern era. Most scholars think this is a side effect seen when trying to cross over to a new era through a combination of technology and aspects of the humanities. It has not been that long, however, since these two disciplines were very closely linked. For a very long time the two have been on the same path.

Skip to 7 minutes and 4 seconds After the industrial revolution, however, we experienced a time where technological creation was a separate entity from knowledge of the humanities. The onset of digital age is starting to combine the two disciplines again, though some scholars are concerned that this will bring down the quality of each. Regardless, it is valid to say that we are about to start crossing over to a new era, with a new concept beginning to shape the planning, production, creation, and consumption of transmedia storytelling. As transmedia becomes our language, there is a core story that can branch out more widely. Transmedia is like the land holding the tree, the platform that allows multiple types of content to develop.

Skip to 8 minutes and 21 seconds Whether your task involves creating a worldview, building a pillar, or dealing with branches, all began with planning. In a larger sense, each task starts from a seed before gradually being built into a house starting with the notion of house building but leading to the construction of an entire transmedia ecosystem. This is the reality of the modern media industry and the roles that need to be played by contemporary storytellers.

Transmedia eco-system

In this video I talk about participation by collective intelligence. These are important parts of the background of media storytelling, and as I mentioned before they have only become possible in the digital era.

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This video is from the free online course:

Transmedia Storytelling

Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)