[iDC] notes on media remix

Brian Holmes brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr
Wed Apr 19 21:34:53 EDT 2006

Lev Manovich wrote:
  Concisely defined by Matt Frantz in his Master
> Thesis as ³designed non-narrative, non-figurative based visuals that change
> over time,²  motion graphics today include film and television titles, TV
> graphics, dynamic menus, the graphics for mobile media content, and other
> animated sequences. Typically motion graphics appear as parts of longer
> pieces: commercials, music videos, training videos, narrative and
> documentary films, interactive projects.

What's literally *fascinating* about motion graphics is the 
competition, all over the computer-tweaked remix range, 
between diverse attempts to create the most hypnotically 
attention-getting pattern of movement. The ones I have to 
look at when I read the newspaper Le Monde are particularly 
infuriating, perhaps due to the French obsession with 
seduction, which definitely loses its residual charms in the 
disembodied version. Here you have an aesthetic that's quite 
new, decisively influenced by rhythm and its mnemonic 
characteristics, but transferred into the visual realm for 
the express purpose of capturing the gaze, with undoubtedly 
a plethora of neurological studies informing some of the 
more sophisticated patterns that are deployed.

I think it would be missing something about media evolution 
not to follow the self-reinforcing feedback loops that cause 
certain aesthetics - the ones connected to measurable 
audience response - to receive the support of all kinds of 
scientific studies, now focused increasingly on the advances 
in neuromapping (charting the stimulation of areas in the 
brain). Just as psychophysical studies influenced many 
aspects of information graphics during the mid-twentieth 
century (studies of the quantities of information that could 
be most transmitted by width of line, shades of color, etc) 
so the new studies of abstract motion through the field of 
an image are destined to receive sustained attention from 
scientists, perhaps for even less interesting ends than 
those of accurately and effectively transmitting 
rationalized information. The eye wins the prize as the most 
mercilously assaulted organ.

Anyway, close your lids and its always possible to get back 
to some good dub. Or whatever makes your body move.


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