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“… glimpsing possibilities while being thwarted by realities.”

A nice companion piece to “At Louvre, Many Stop to Snap but Few Stay to Focus” (NYT, August 2, 2009): yesterday’s “From Picassos to Sarcophagi, Guided by Phone Apps.”

In addition to references to — and gestures toward, and assumptions about — social media, we get a nice Phenomenological treatment.

Being multimodal

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Week 2: our working definition

Week three version:

Multimodality can be defined as the production, study, and perceived meaning of modes used to communicate ideas, messages, and information. These different modes — images, alphabetic text, motion, color, texture, sound, smell — are influenced by social, economic, and cultural environments. Multimodal composers acknowledge potential emotional connections between audiences, texts, and meanings.

The interaction of these audiences, texts, and technologies is both intentionally and unintentionally determined by the hegemonic cultural rules that have been established by the culture sending the message, and by the one receiving.

What makes multimodal communication unique, compared to mono-modal communication, is the intersection and integration of various modes of communication to achieve the desired communiqué as the message would not be received properly if any of the modes used in multi-modal communication were split up. For example, watching a film produced with sound, yet muted. Or hearing the audio of that film and seeing no video component. In both examples the reading of the text becomes distorted.

With multimodal communication, the relationship between the composer and the reader becomes more accommodating to multiple interpretations.

working collective draft — in process:

Multimodality is the production, study, and perceived meaning of modes in order to communicate an idea, message, or information.

… in a culture or community

In this course, we explore and analyze the ways in which text and image function together as meaning-making and as rhetorical strategies. We do this by reading in those areas that inform new media — art, typography, cinema, technology — and asking about the forms of production and distribution that make them possible.

We then turn to our own production of text-and-image projects, in which we link our professional, academic, community, or creative goals to the design of an audience-based project.

At the end of the course, you will know how to:

Define terms in context for the design, distribution, and reception of multimodal texts
Identify rhetorical and aesthetic traditions in which text-and-image projects appear
Compose a multimodal project in the service of an argument or advocacy
Articulate the intended effects of your multomodal project and the steps you took to achieve those effects
Present and explain your multimodal composing processes for multiple audiences

A note on technology

We will be working with text-and-image design software in this course; no previous experience is assumed, and support is available for coursework and project work. You will be asked to develop a software learning plan during weeks five and six in support of your project proposal and prototype, and I am available before, during, and after class to provide assistance.

Talk to the Pros: Succeeding in a New Media World

A Roundtable Sponsored by DePaul’s MA in New Media Studies
Sept. 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm McGowan Hall South
1110 W. Belden Ave, Chicago, Room 108.