Week 4: Digital Story Critique

Listener: Narrative Through Lights

  1. What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story? In this story the public art serves as the creator or author for the piece. Those who pass by become the participants if the choose to engage with the lights. I suppose the shouting and whooping from the participants makes the author light up and interact with the audience and participants. The audience could be anyone walking by, people watching the groups of people making the lights flicker. It would also be anyone who is engaging with the video and watching after the fact.
  2. How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story? This story has no traditional story line. I find this a very postmodern display of public art where each interaction with a participant is unique. How loud they yell, or scream, or hoot, and woot makes the lights move in response. My interpretation is that this is an example of fan art with a digital mode of drawing. In this digital clip the music adds a dimension of cohesion to the interaction with the lights. In another clip another clip we see more of the participants experience with the lights and as an audience we are reading their expressions and group interaction more.
  3. What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story? I originally found this digital story online through PBS however, I went to the Vimeo site to find the clip above. Within the article it adds more discussion around using art that interacts with the audience and the meaning this creates. I think finding the video alone allowed me to give my own interpretation. I was drawn to this because I can imagine that many people at first may feel a little silly or vulnerable yelling up at the lights, but quickly the interaction and narrative begin to develop as the interaction is seen as playful and fun.
  4. Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement? I think that there could have been a little more text in the video to give some context to the piece. Of course the narrative in this piece is really based on the interaction with the participants. The creator, Virdee, “thinks there is broad potential for this kind of thinking in the storytelling space, particularly as the nature of narrative changes when a multitude of voices can contribute to a work even just by viewing it” (Nord).  I think the production quality could have been a little better, I enjoyed hearing the interaction, but would have like to see the people’s expression. I think remixing the clip with the second clip with all the participants would be interesting. This would have strengthened the audience engagement since showing the participation was important to really see the narrative play out.

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