Summer Reading – Response #2

01 ReadingAs mentioned in my last post, my Summer reading list is driven by assignment in my Digital Storytelling class. This week I read:

Lankshear, C. and Knobel, M. (2011). Chapter 4 on new literacies and social practices of digital remixing from New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning. New York: Open University Press, 95-140.

Thorne, Avril, Neill Korobov, and Elizabeth M. Morgan. “Channeling Identity: A Study of Storytelling in Conversations between Introverted and Extraverted Friends.” Journal of Research in Personality 41.5 (2007): 1008-31. Web.

New Literacies and Social Practices of Digital Remixing

Last week if you had asked me to define remixing, I would have given you an example a DJ remixing music at a club. Lanksher and Knobel have expanded the definition of remixing to include all kinds of tools, media, and culture. Examples are as follows: making machinima movies, making movie trailers, creating fanfiction short movies, making music videos, creating fanfiction, photoshopping images, creating fan art, producing political remixes, remixing music, mashing up web applications, cosplaying/live action role playing, and modding video games.

Lankshear and Knobel discuss digital remix practices that are more interesting ways of “writing,” especially for young people. “These include remixing clips from movies to create ‘faux’ trailers for hypothetical movies; setting remixed movie trailers to remixed music of choice that is synchronized with the visual action; recording a series of anime cartoons and then video editing them in synchrony with a popular music track; mixing ‘found’ images with original images in order to express a theme or idea (with or without text added); and mixing images, animations, and texts to create cartoons (including political cartoons and animation), to name just a few types.” When I think of writing, I think of the physical action of writing words on paper. I prefer to think of “writing” as “creating.” I can write (create) a story and verbally share that story that others verbally share with others. I didn’t write anything on paper or type it into a computer. I created the story from my thoughts. With the proliferation of technology, we have moved from verbally sharing stories we create to using multimedia to create our stories.

Lankshear and Knobel use some terms that I was unfamiliar with before reading this chapter. For this post, I will focus on three since they will most likely show up in future blog posts.

Machinima is the use of real-time computer graphics engines (most often video games) to create a cinematic production.

Fanfiction is fiction about characters or settings from an original work of fiction (like Start Trek), created by fans of that work rather than by its creator. It is a popular form of fan labor, particularly since the advent of the Internet.

Modding refers to the “act of modifying hardware, software, or virtually anything else, to perform a function not originally conceived or intended by the designer, or achieve a bespoke specification.”

Each of these is considered a form of remixing.

Most interesting to me is the idea that our conversations and our entire culture can be considered a remix. We are constantly taking the ideas of others and incorporating them into our lives and remixing them to make something new out of them.

Storytelling Between Introverted and Extraverted Friends

Thorne, Korobov, and Morgan studied the process of storytelling between friends who were college-age. Each set of friends had 10 minutes to tell a spontaneous story. Extraverted friends told stories that more often changed the topic and constructed story plots. Their introverted friends were more likely to tell stories that “were embedded in a developing theme, and constructed story plots solo.” When they looked at the content of the stories, extraverts told more stories about romance while the introverts told stories about home and family.

Extroverts and introverts get their energy from different types of activities. Extraverts get their energy from being around people. Introverts get their energy from being alone with their thoughts. It makes sense that introverts would tell more stories about home and family since they are more likely to spend time with those closest to them where they can be content with their thoughts without the energy-draining activity of having to meet new people. They tell their stories based on how they prefer to live in the world. It also makes sense that the extroverts told stories about relationships because they are most comfortable and energized by being with people.

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