Title: Media, database, and narrative: navigating digital public space

Authors: John Fass

Addresses: Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU, UK

Abstract: This paper discusses the nature of computational narrative, and suggests ways of structuring navigation experiences conducive to the production of social meaning. The difference between traditional means of information structure and digital database ordering is also examined. Some theorists establish an opposition between database and narrative claiming: "new media objects do not tell stories; they don't have beginning or end...they are collections of individual items" (Manovich, 2002). These items are brought forth (performed) by the interface in a series of operations. The interface (symbolising the system) acts on the database (in the form of a sequential list) in a series of steps carried out by the user. The database structure contains an algorithm, a set of instructions, that translates interface actions into output, (e.g., clicking the search button). This is seen as a simulation of narrative since there is no actor or narrator, and there are no implicitly connected events.

Keywords: narrative theories; computational narrative; media databases; interaction design; digital patina; digital public space; social meaning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2014.066459

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2014 Vol.7 No.4, pp.388 - 390

Received: 15 May 2013
Accepted: 04 Aug 2013

Published online: 21 Dec 2014 *

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