Henry Jenkins’ Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide investigates shifting paradigms of reception, consumption, production and understanding in media. He’s especially interested in communal intelligence, participatory culture and transmedia storytelling, highlighting the unique behavior of 21st century information spheres. While delivery technologies (data formats like Zip discs, 8-Tracks, tape backups, etc.) become obsolete, our media itself, the hard content, evolves. Our communal desire to record sounds, capture moving pictures, snap stills or process data continues unabated, often finding blending points as our notions of video, sound and still shifts. The act of capturing an instant (in this case, a still) from a moving television source converges two previously conceptual activities: photography and continuous video.
Anyone on the internet can see and respond to the images I post in The Cascade.
Some will have personal micro-responses, recognizing the pop culture iconography embedded within. Others might not recognize the commercial association, instead focusing on the desert landscape itself, the strange interference rippling across the image surface that results from my cell phone camera trying to focus on an LED screen, or the oddly familiar color palette that seems to exist across each digital entry.
Still others might focus on the composition of the shots, thinking both of the photographic still and the original camera movements, the original framing. Others yet again might write the whole thing off as dull.
Our amazing ability to analyze, delete, track, rearrange, conceptualize and filter data as it faces us is fascinating to both Jenkins and myself. I cannot stop you from developing your own narrative about the story the images seem to tell, if there is one, or about why you think the images were taken and assembled. In fact, I wouldn’t dream of stopping your unique transmedia storytelling experience.
“Convergence occurs within the brains of individual consumers and through their social interactions with others. Each of us constructs our own personal mythology from bits and fragments of information extracted from the media flow and transformed into resources through which we make sense of our everyday lives (Jenkins, 3-4).”
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