Re: [-empyre-] Writing Culture - NEW FICTIONS
sorry for the duplicate... I cannot read Zervos´ messages at the
admin, they seem to be encrypted...
On 10/21/05, Komninos Zervos <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> thought this might be relevant to this great discussion, thanks all.
> Perspective 5 August 2005 - Komninos Zervos
> ABC RADIO NATIONAL
> [This is the print version of story
> 'Why would an intelligent person like you watch Big Brother?' my little
> brother (he's 50) asked the last time I was in Melbourne. I answered
> because it is great fiction, yeah great fiction and I like its
> unpredictability. The fact is that Australia's most popular 'reality-tv'
> show is a fiction, is the first fiction we who watch it accept. The fiction
> that this show is reality.
> What do I get out of Big Brother that I no longer get out of movies, or
> television drama series? Is Big Brother a different form of drama, a
> contemporary form of storytelling that has no overall plot, or a very
> simple one like the computer games, get to the end and have tea with
> princess azaria, or get to the end and win a million dollars? The story of
> Big Brother is being told in the sub-plots and parrallel mini-plots. More
> concerned with the journey than the arrival? Isn't that post-modern enough
> for you? So what's new? Neighbours has been doing that for twenty years.
> The hyperlinked internet is not the only medium that can claim branching
> pathway narratives. Could Big Brother be post-post-modernist? It seems to
> be exhibiting all the characteristics attributed to new media art, a
> rhizome of mini-plots and pathways, user input via interactive elements, an
> element of game and advance through levels, random or chance occurrences or
> events, and configurable avatars or characters.
> We have to ask who is making this story and how do we read this story. Do I
> read Big Brother according to literary theory, or film theory, or media
> theory, or performance theory, it seems to contain elements of all the
> contemporay theories, perhaps a new theory, a theory of the digital age
> like Cybertext Theory postulated in 1997 by Espen Aarseth. The theory was
> developed to be able to place new media types like games in the same
> theoretical arena as traditional media types like books, they are all
> So let me call Big Brother a CyberText. It is an ergodic work, you can't
> just sit there and let it happen, you do work to move through this work.
> Not all the information is in the one spot. There is no centre, no unity.
> It' s happening concurrently in the print media, radio, television,
> internet, and on mobile phones. There are more BB-related activities
> happening outside that house than on the 30 minutes of television each
> night on the daily show. It can never be replayed or re-run. It is once
> only and of the moment. It is probably the most democratic fiction ever
> written or conceived, as the plots are ultimately contributed to by players
> and watchers alike.
> Espen Aarseth describes a CyberText as an ergodic text that does not have
> fixed number of textons and scriptons and fixed sequence of scriptons.
> Textons can be words, images, sounds, animations, movie clips, avatars, any
> analog or digital object. Scriptons are the groupings of these objects,
> like sentences, paragraphs, scenes, shots, choruses, verses, songs,
> slideshows, collages, puzzles, etc that form packets of meaning or feeling
> or both. In Big Brother the players/housemates are the textons, in fact
> they are texton generators, generating new textons all the time in the way
> they act in the house. The reporters and media coverage are also texton
> generators, with families and lovers also adding to the mix.
> The scriptons that form from these fountains of textons are the scenarios
> of the Big Brother house; who's on with who, who's fighting with who, who
> has a dark dim past, who will be nominated, who will be evicted, how will
> tasks be completed etc. etc etc, the stuff of Big Brother. The 37 cameras
> recording 24 hours a day for 90 daily half hour shows, and another 10 half
> hour specials, and 12 eviction specials and 12 nominations specials, and 8
> uncut specials and 10 Friday night games, and 180 hours of up-late and
> webchats, and when the evictees start doing the media milk-run, all the
> textons that are generated outside the house, but have affect on the
> scripton formation inside the house and inside 2 million viewers, long
> after the series has finished. This is a huge fiction event, where not
> everyone is privy to all the textons at any time, and as Gretel Killeen
> pointed out one night, "everyone's interpretation is just as valid as
> anyone elses." And no one person can control all that, not even Big
> Guests on this program:
> Komninos Zervos
> Cyber Poet
> School of Arts
> Griffith University
> Further information:
> Espen Aarseth's (old) Web site
> Producer: Sue Clark
> empyre forum
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