Composing Digital Media
Projct Presentations & oral participation in class
This is a studio and workshop class in which we compose and present projects. You will be speaking technically, rhetorically and critically about your work or the work of your peers at every class meeting. Because we will be spending so much time talking to each other about work you produce or about the work that your peers produce, it is important to understand the different modes of presentation and response that will be expected.
Remember specific, detailed comments that fully acknowledge an issue in a piece serve the author best. She will then know precisely what needs to be addressed, why and how.
Modes of presentation & response:
Response: as each student presents a project, everyone will have the opportunity to offer one specific, productive comment or suggestion that will assist the composer with project revision. When we are making "technical" comments, we will address the techniques, applications, and modes of making the object. For example, "I notice that footage around minute 1 of your video is much darker than the other footage. Have you had a chance to adjust and balance the light levels yet? You could do ... [indicate the specific manner of technical revision, the "how-to", as we do on our DIY blog posts.
Presentation: likewise, if you are presenting your video, you would outline, in detail, the specific technical manner in which you went about making your project. You would also acknowledge what technical work still needs to be done, so we don't comment on these issues of which you are already aware. For example, "I know my footage is not light balanced. This occurred because I shot the footage at different times of the day (or in different weather conditions). I will fix this by .... [indicate the specific manner of technical revision, the "how-to", as we do on our DIY blog posts.
Rhetorical and Critical:
Rhetorical and Critical response and presentation are key to understand the purpose, style, and intent of a project. They include elements of storytelling, argument, exposition, transition, support, continuity, provocation/affect and effective expression. We will discuss discuss each of these rhetorical and critical modes in detail in class.
Response: whether engaging a rough draft/cut or the final revised version, we will begin by asking the author what she intended to do and how. Listen carefully to this presentational outline as it should guide your comments. We want to offer feedback that respects the author's desired outcomes, not what we may have wanted to do instead. For example, an author states that she wants her video to argue for a greater investment in the natural environment in our urban condition. She has juxtaposed scenes of intense urban noise and architecture to a more quiet setting filled with trees, flora and fauna. As the video progresses and we see that in the midst of this natural growth, there is quite a bit of trash. The video does not focus on the trash, but it does find its way into frame. We might ask, "Since you are using juxtaposition between the city and the natural spaces to convince us of the disparity between them, I am not sure how to understand the trash in the natural scenes. Are we meant to see it as ruining the natural scenes or polluting it? It is unclear how I should interpret the trash. I might suggest that you decide to highlight the trash, so as to make your argument stronger in terms of the ruin of the natural setting, or I might suggest that you consider shooting footage without trash to show a stronger juxtaposition."
Presentation: as mentioned in the response section, you will be asked to outline what you intended to do and how. We want to offer feedback that helps you to strengthen and make more provocative your desired narrative, rhetorical and stylistic outcomes, so it is very important that you diagram the stages of your piece, how you want the audience to respond, and what your specific goals are for each of the components or sections of the piece. You will also be asked to describe in detail the style, quality, and feel you are striving to achieve. For example, you state that you want your video to argue for a greater investment in the natural environment in our urban condition. You tell us of your choices, including the juxtapositions of scenes of intense urban noise and architecture in Oakland to a more quiet setting filled with trees, flora and fauna in Schenley Park. You also note that as the video progresses, we might begin to see that in the midst of this natural growth, there is quite a bit of trash. You express that you do not want the video focus on the trash, but for the view to slowly notice that it does find its way into frame. You hope that this will have a slow rhetorical effect on the viewer, leading her to question the treatment of our park spaces, and you might go on to ask us if these stylistic choices are strong enough to communicate the critique and argument you are attempting to make.
November 29, 2010