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Travels in Intermedia[lity]

ReBlurring the Boundaries

Bernd Herzogenrath

Publication Year: 2012

How do fiction, film, music, the Internet, and plastic, performative, and fine arts negotiate their shapes, formats, and contents in our contemporary world? More important, how does their interaction shape their techniques of representation, strategies of communication, and forms of reception? In the light of these ongoing interactive (and intermedial) processes, the fields of cultural studies and American studies are challenged to restructure and reorganize themselves. Less interested in the mere fact of traditional art forms meeting new media such as film, video, and digital arts, the collection concentrates on the ways in which the fundamental theoretical constructs of the media have forever changed. This book offers the latest in global intermedial studies, including discussions of digital photography, comics and graphic novels, performance art, techno, hypertext, and video games.

Published by: Dartmouth College Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix

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1. Travels in Intermedia[lity]: An Introduction

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pp. 1-14

In his essay “Quotation and Originality,” Ralph Waldo Emerson writes: “Our debt to tradition through reading and conversation is so massive, our protest so rare and insignificant — and this commonly on the ground of other reading or...

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2. Four Models of Intermediality

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pp. 15-36

The use of the term “intermediality” has become widespread (see, for example, Prümm, Eicher, Rajewsky, Paech/Schröter). It attempts to take into account the more and more apparent fact that media do not exist disconnected from one another...

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3. Intermediality in Media Philosophy

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pp. 37-45

A lot has been said about intermedia in the past decades: “intermediality” has been specified in all kinds of intermedial relations and all kinds of things— techniques, artworks, performances, methods— have been called “intermedia” or “intermedial.” But it is the subject...

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4. Realism and the Digital Image

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pp. 46-62

One of the most consistent commonplaces about the nature of digital photography (and digital imagery more generally) is that the old claim of photographic images to represent the world faithfully, naturally, accurately, has been undermined by digitization...

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5. Mother's Little Nightmare: Photographic and Monstrous Genealogies in David Lynch’s The Elephant Man

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pp. 63-80

Based on the life of Joseph Merrick, a severely disfigured man who was exhibited in English freak shows in the second half of the nineteenth century, David Lynch’s The Elephant Man (1980) has been described by Maitland McDonagh as a film...

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6. Laughs: The Misappropriated Jewels, or A Close Shave for the Prima Donna

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pp. 81-91

Signora Castafiore sings the great Jewel Song. In comes a magpie, who steals the jewels. The rest of the music is an awful cacophony. It’s the hold-up of the century: the voice has been embezzled, speech cheated, communication depreciated...

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7. Words and Images in the Contemporary American Graphic Novel

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pp. 92-110

The aim of this chapter is not to reinvent the problem of the word-and-image relationship, here in the field of comics and graphic-novel production. In a modest and pragmatic way, the following pages will try to show the relevance and interest of this issue...

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8. Music for the Jilted Generation: Techno and | as Intermediality

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pp. 111-124

In its complex history, the Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk can be said to be a first important step on the way to intermediality. Going further, Heinrich Klotz, in an interview with Florian Rötzer, commented on a concept of a “medial...

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9. Geniune Thought is Inter(medial)

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pp. 125-136

This chapter deals with the question of intermediality as the space in between different media. Taking into account the “theories of difference” of French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, I argue that the virtual “space in-between” has the potential...

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10. Theater and Music: Intermedial Negotiations

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pp. 137-151

In terms of crossing media boundaries, blurring, like the related concept of hybridization, can be given both a positive and a negative connotation. The choice of positive or negative connotation is a decisive moment in dealing with the effects of any such crossing or the ensuing sense...

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11. The Novel as Hypertext: Mapping Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day

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pp. 152-168

Th e idea of intermediation can be understood in a numb er of different ways, but one of its first definitions, by Dick Higgins in 1965, is perhaps both its most basic and most problematic. Higgins saw intermediation as a way of describing or approaching...

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12. Delightful Vistas: Revisiting the Hypertext Garden

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pp. 169-174

The attention of the audience is a writer’s most precious possession, and the value of audience attention is particularly clear in writing for the Web. The time, care, and expense devoted to creating and promoting a hypertext are lost if readers arrive...

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13. Playing Research: Methodological Approaches to Game Analysis

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pp. 175-191

Games, and not only computer games, are the perfect object of study for intermediality. Even though games are not media themselves (they are systems that use media, which is not the same as being a medium), they usually involve more...

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14. The Nonessentialist Essentialist Guide to Games

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pp. 192-210

I take as my starting point Dick Higgins’s notion of intermedia. In his famous intermedia article (later included as a chapter in his book Horizons: The Poetics and Theory of the Intermedia, 18–28), Higgins argued against the relevance of High Art...

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15. "Turn Your Radio On": Intermediality in the Computer Game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

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pp. 211-225

In one of the fictional and satirical newscasts in the massively successful computer game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (GTA: San Andreas) news anchor Leanne Forgé asks whether “skateboarding [is] turning your son gay” and whether...

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16. Television as Network -- Network as Television: Experiments in Content and Community

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pp. 226-247

This chapter concerns the symbiotic relationship between television’s content, means of distribution, producers, and audience as an example of intermedial form. We will begin by exploring the basic methods for dialogue and engagement...

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17. Social Media and the Future of Political Narrative

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pp. 248-263

In the 1990s there were some who argued that the World Wide Web promised a new age of democracy or at least individual participation in the making of media. (See, for example, Holmes 50–54.) According to these authors, the era of television, film, and print publication...


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pp. 265-269


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pp. 271-273

E-ISBN-13: 9781611682618
E-ISBN-10: 1611682614
Print-ISBN-13: 9781611682595

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2012