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Intermedial Strategies in Multimedial Art


Ljungberg, Christina (2010). Intermedial Strategies in Multimedial Art. In: Elleström, Lars. Media Border, Multimodality and Intermediality. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 81-95.

Abstract

In communication and media studies, the concept of ‘media’ is used to refer to the classical mass media newspaper, book, radio, popular music, film, and television. More recently, the concept has been extended to cover writing or even speech in general, music, painting, photography, video, the internet or computer games, which no longer qualify as media interacting with the ‘masses.’ Intermediality, then, concerns the transgression of the borders between such media, e.g., between different sign systems and/or the iconic enactment of one medium within another. It also involves the modality of a specific medium. W.J.T. Michell (this volume) calls it the question about ‘senses’ and ‘signs,’ which pertains to the sensory modality, mainly visual, oral, or tactile, (the use of olfactory signs, as in Divine’s Odorama, was a short, even if rather successful, attempt), and the semiotic register of sign functions.
What happens to these modalities and to these functions when various media interact? What precisely constitutes the result, that is, the phenomenon we call intermediality and which concerns the negotiations of the borders between various media and what do these ‘border talks,’ as Irina Rajewsky (this volume) calls them, effect in such intermedial transgressions? What are the possibilities and limitations that such intersemiotic translations from one art to the other bring into being and how is one medium reflected in another? I will argue that these instances of intermediality are
• radically performative, as we are confronted with hybrid forms that generate something new and unique
• strongly self-reflexive, since they focus attention both on their own mode of production and on their own semiotic specificity, which is heightened by the increasing digitalization of interacting media
• a highly effective communication strategy, as they give readers / viewers / listeners access to different levels of meaning.
These are the issues at stake in my contribution, which will discuss two very different examples of intermedial art mapping time and space by performer / artist / writer Laurie Anderson and digital artist Lucia Leão. What I want to explore are the strategies they use to achieve their unique and innovative intermedial effects.

In communication and media studies, the concept of ‘media’ is used to refer to the classical mass media newspaper, book, radio, popular music, film, and television. More recently, the concept has been extended to cover writing or even speech in general, music, painting, photography, video, the internet or computer games, which no longer qualify as media interacting with the ‘masses.’ Intermediality, then, concerns the transgression of the borders between such media, e.g., between different sign systems and/or the iconic enactment of one medium within another. It also involves the modality of a specific medium. W.J.T. Michell (this volume) calls it the question about ‘senses’ and ‘signs,’ which pertains to the sensory modality, mainly visual, oral, or tactile, (the use of olfactory signs, as in Divine’s Odorama, was a short, even if rather successful, attempt), and the semiotic register of sign functions.
What happens to these modalities and to these functions when various media interact? What precisely constitutes the result, that is, the phenomenon we call intermediality and which concerns the negotiations of the borders between various media and what do these ‘border talks,’ as Irina Rajewsky (this volume) calls them, effect in such intermedial transgressions? What are the possibilities and limitations that such intersemiotic translations from one art to the other bring into being and how is one medium reflected in another? I will argue that these instances of intermediality are
• radically performative, as we are confronted with hybrid forms that generate something new and unique
• strongly self-reflexive, since they focus attention both on their own mode of production and on their own semiotic specificity, which is heightened by the increasing digitalization of interacting media
• a highly effective communication strategy, as they give readers / viewers / listeners access to different levels of meaning.
These are the issues at stake in my contribution, which will discuss two very different examples of intermedial art mapping time and space by performer / artist / writer Laurie Anderson and digital artist Lucia Leão. What I want to explore are the strategies they use to achieve their unique and innovative intermedial effects.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:February 2010
Deposited On:17 May 2010 21:23
Last Modified:08 May 2016 14:17
Publisher:Palgrave MacMillan
ISBN:978-0-230-23860-2
Official URL:http://us.macmillan.com/mediabordersmultimodalityandintermediality
Related URLs:http://opac.nebis.ch/F/?local_base=NEBIS&con_lng=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=005974023

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