Media, database, and narrative: navigating digital public space
by John Fass
International Journal of Arts and Technology (IJART), Vol. 7, No. 4, 2014

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.

Online publication date: Wed, 31-Dec-2014

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