Codes and Cinema: Isn’t cinema always about mobile context?

 Pasolini's «cinemes» concept

Image : cinebits from the controversial film Salò by Pier Paolo Pasolini : what did the filmmaker perceive with his concept of “cinemes”? how can it inspire sensibility, “sympathy for context” in mobile web design?

As my exploration of interaction design around cinematic streams moves towards the mobile web, I am (slowly) coming across the issue of “context” in mobile user experience. Adaptive Path’s presentation by Rachel Hinman provides inspiring lights along this way. As she is pointing the need for a “sympathy for context”, I recall the perceptions of the cinematic medium expressed by filmmaker and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini. In his essay on language and cinema, Empirismo eretico, the late italian filmmaker brings forward the concept of “cinemes” to describe what he perceives as the particles, “the primary visual units”, of cinema. From the coordination of these “cinemes”, he writes, the cinematic image arises. Could his sensibility for the fundamental units of cinema inspire “sympathy for context” in the design of mobile user experience? Since, as cinemakers or designers, we are no strangers to the idea of  “context being about understanding human relationships to the people, places and things in the world”. Should those relationships articulate through camera shots or through mobile web designs, what particles express our “sympathy for context”? 

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Codes and Cinema: Wireframe with alpha channel

Wireframe with alpha channel, originally uploaded by rizomer.

A wireframe with concepts used to explore what could be – creatively – done once a cinematic image stream is drag-dropped to a web application. CSS/HTML wireframing through http://www.rizomer.org/.

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Codes and Cinema: Moving away from the length-based mold

 Quasimondo's Islands Of Consciousness

How long will cinema keep its reference to a time where cinematic imagery was deployed onto physical film? Will the length-based mold simply copy-paste to the web? If filmmakers such as Griffith or Eisenstein explored (on celluloid) the cinematic montage that led to the feature lenght standard of the 20th century, can we still measure experiments of Actionscripters such as Neave (Neave’s TV) or Quasimondo (Flickeur) in terms that are reminiscence of the length (in feet!) of a number of film reels? We go to their sites and the experience lasts as “long” as their internet scripts are not removed from their servers. No reels, no feet there.

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Codes and Cinema

Could cinema regenerate through the exploration, by cinemakers and creative coders, of emerging audiovisual scripting languages? Could the editing and compositing suites progressively make room for Processing-like environment? And if so, what changes?

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