Mirror Worlds: Artists working with Mobile Media.

“It’s the pictures that got small”, declared Norma Desmond in Billy Wilder’s 1950’s film classic “Sunset Boulevard”. But was Miss Desmond referring to the television or the mobile phone? At first glance, the mobile phone is a genie’s lamp, a magical portal to entertainment and communication nirvana. But what are the implications for artists and storytellers working with mobile devices to construct narratives for the small screen.

The development of new skill sets and access to mobile device software and hardware present initial hurdles to artists exploring this new narrative space. Content developers need to determine the relationship, if any, that mobile media shares with established media forms such as the printed word and moving image.

A convergence of new media technologies has perhaps given birth to a mediated self that exists within a digital mirrorscape, absorbing and reflecting narrative forms that are constantly fluxing and evolving. These miniature narratives may have the potential to liberate both the story and the author by providing the means to generate narratives that defy existing aesthetic codes and conventions. The user relationship with the mobile device suggests an increased assimilation with the narrative and the self, and this is further evidenced by the growing trend in user generated and shared content via Podcasting and Moblogging.

Traditional narrative codes and signifiers need to be replaced or adapted to suit the emerging aesthetics of mobile media. New media forms require a new glossary of terms. Unlike the established codes of the cinematic narrative. The mobile, or micro-narrative does not yet possess a series of aesthetic rules and conventions that can aid or influence the production of mobile content.

The merging of fact and fiction; the public and the private in an online environment has, arguably, promoted the emergence of a narrative shift that embraces the technological advancements and socialisation of the mobile device.
The small screen presents great challenges for new media artists creating mobile-based content. What are the emerging constraints of mobile media and how can artists work with the challenges and limitations of such media?

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~ by Dean on April 5, 2006.

One Response to “Mirror Worlds: Artists working with Mobile Media.”

  1. This is great Dean!

    I wonder how much of that intensive engagement is due to the auditory space created by the phone connection and if this translates to an arms length engagement when it is viewed?

    There’s something about holding on to your phone that means you can’t walk away.

    If phones were disposable it would be interesting to leave them lying around on the ground, in trains etc.

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