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Bibliography by Salman Bakht

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 9 months ago

Annotated Bibliography Assignment

 

By Salman Bakht, Alice Adaptation Team

 

1. Hoetzlein, Rama. Quanta (2007).

 

Quanta is a database and data visualization system developed by Rama Hoetzlein in the years 2002-2007. The system includes several visualizations which are designed to facilitate interdisciplinary research. The browser view allows for viewing of pages automatically generated from a knowledge database. The dual-browser view displays two windows allowing for concepts and details to be viewed simultaneously.

 

The ontology view displays a navigable hierarchical tree layout of the database. The graph view plots any two properties of a data set against any other. Another view displays comparative timelines with continuous zooming to show various densities of information. Timelines from unrelated data sets can be displayed simultaneously, and the timelines can be browsed hierarchically. The circle packing visualization maps conceptual spaces with related concepts in proximity of each other and size relative to the amount of data within a concept.

 

Quanta currently allows for users to enter information into the database by importing Microsoft Excel files. Also, software called “Qubit” was developed to supplement the database generation capabilities of the Quanta system. This software aims uses text and data mining techniques to translate existing internet information into a database useable by the Quanta system. Qubit downloads images of paintings and the associated information.

 

 


 

2. Johnson, Glen. "Montage Theory: Eisenstein & Vertov" (2007). http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hsct101/montage/montage-1.html (accessed February 13, 2008).

 

This website discusses the film technique of montage, "juxtaposing images by editing," as performed by Russian film directors Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov. First, Eisenstein's use of montage in the 1925 film Battleship Potemkin demonstrates his theory that "two or more images edited together create a 'tertium quid' (third thing) that makes the whole greater than the sum of its individual parts." Examples are shown where Eisenstein uses montage to manipulate the perception of time, to add to the emotional impact, and to arouse ideological consciousness. A final example shows how the rapid succession of still statues suggests motion.

 

The website continues by showing how Dziga Vertov's 1929 film The Man with the Movie Camera extends Eisenstein's exploration of montage. Screen captures show examples of a graphical match, where consecutive images are related only by abstract visual similarity; the use of visual-linguistic pun, where the consecutive images are related by a word and/or visual pun; and the connection of images by meaning. Further examples show how a montage of several images relates a series of sequential events or contrasts categories of events. A pair of examples show how montages used in the film relate the process of film making and audience viewing with the film itself. Lastly, the film references an experiment in montage by filmmaker Lev Kuleshov where images of a person's face are inter-cut with various other images, resulting in a change in the audience's perception of the the face's expression.

 


 

3. Lecercle, Jean-Jacques. "Introduction: Reading Nonsense Reading." In Philosophy of Nonsense: The intuitions of Victorian Nonsense Literature, 1-26. New York: Routledge, 1994.

 

This introductory chapter to Jean-Jacques Lecercle's book, which focuses on the nonsense elements of Carroll's Alice novels, describes the genre of literary nonsense and defines the phenomenon of nonsense as it occurs in these texts. Lecercle states, "nonsense texts are reflexive" and "they turn parody into a theory of serious literature." Further, the genre is described as a "conservative-revolutionary" genre, both respecting and subverting rules. He adds, "nonsense text requires to be read on two levels at once -- two incompatible levels: not 'x means A' but 'x is both A and, incoherently, B'. In other words, nonsense deals not in symbolism but in paradox" and later describes the text as "a balancing act between an orderly and a disorderly reading."

 

Nonsense techniques are explored by examining an analysis of Through the Looking-Glass. Abraham Ettelson in his book, 'Through the Looking-Glass' Decoded, sets out to explain how Carroll's novel is in fact an encoded text of the Jewish Talmud. Lecercle describes the various techniques Ettelson uses in his sentence-by-sentence (often word-by-word) interpretation. Often, Ettelson merely states that an object in Carroll's text maps to one in the Talmud ("'Jabberwocky' is the code name for the Ball Shem Tov of Medzhbish"), often with weak, linguistic connection ("eyes of flame" in "Jabberwocky" is related to Israel's "face aflame ... eyes glowed). Other times, complex word manipulation techniques, such as the division and mirroring of a word (leading from "Jabberwocky" to "Rebbaj Ykcow" to "Rabbi Jacob") are employed.

 

This analysis text is so thoroughly explained to reach the conclusion that the techniques used by Ettelson in fact match those used by Carroll (use of puns, portmanteaus, word games). Ettelson interpretation acts as a model of Carroll's original text, using illogical but defined processes as a means of generating nonsense. Lecercle explains, "Ettelson is no longer mad, but intuitive. In his irrepressible compulsion to force meaning out of text, he tells us something about the working of language." Further, Lecercle praises Ettelson's analysis as, in its nonsense, it remains faithful to the original.

 


 

4. Rogue Entertainment. American McGee's Alice. Redwood City: Electronic Arts, 2000.

 

American McGee's Alice is a computer game developed by Rogue Entertainment, with American McGee as the lead designer, in 2000. The game is described as being in the survival horror, third-person shooter, and puzzle genres. The game is set 10 years after the events of Through the Looking-Glass and focuses again on Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. A house-fire killed both of Alice's parents while sparing Alice, who was awoken and hence saved by the residents of Wonderland. After witnessing her parents' death, Alice loses touch with reality and is placed in an insane asylum. She has been comatose for a year, a dream state mirroring those experienced by Alice in the novels.

 

As the game begins, Alice is again lead to Wonderland by the White Rabbit. However this time, she is summoned. She finds that Wonderland is a malformed version of the land she visited as a child, with most of the residents enslaved under the rule of the Red Queen. Further, she finds that these residents see her as a savior that will end the Queen's tyrannical rule.

 

Through visuals, music, and dialogue, the macabre style of the game is maintained throughout its play. Additionally, as this is a game in the "shooter" genre, there is much violence and death in the game, which is a contrast to the very subtle and harmless element of violence that many perceive in the original novels. At the same time, the frequent use of puzzles, most often involving reaching a desired location, either through discovery of creative techniques or by being able to navigate the complex locations. The episodic nature of the books is maintained through the use of levels and locations which are connected by portal, mirror in a more concrete sense the sudden jumps in space that occur within the Alice novels.

 

The manual that ships with the game provides an additional layer of adaptation. This booklet contains a log of a psychiatrist's observation of Alice as she experiences the events of the game, seemingly entirely in her mind. As the log progresses, Alice slowly begins to connect with the outside world, drawing pictures, speaking, and acting out the events occurring in her mind while people in the real world are mirrored by the characters within Wonderland.

 


 

5. Zettl, Herbert. "Structuring the Four-Dimensional Field: Editing" and "Structuring the Five-Dimensional Field: Sound Structures and Sound-Picture Combinations." In Sight Sound Motion: Applied Media Aesthetics, 299-332 and 355-386. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1990.

 

In "Structuring the Four-Dimensional Field: Editing," Zettl discusses the montage techniques used in film, which he defines as "the juxtaposition of two or more separate event images that, when shown together, combine into a larger and more intense whole" (319). He categorizes montage into three main categories: metric montage, analytical montage, and idea-associative montage. Metric montage uses shots of near equal length, providing a "motion beat". Analytical montage is divided into two categories. Sequential analytical montage "condenses an event into its key elements and presents these elements in their original cause-effect sequence" (320). Sectional analytical montage shows a single moment within an event from various viewpoints. Idea-associative montage is the juxtaposition of two or more images that seem on the surface to be unrelated. This category is also split into two subcategories: comparison montage and collision montage. Comparison montage involved the use of events that are thematically related in order to express this theme. Collision montage represents two opposing events to reveal a third concept through conflict.

 

The chapter "Structuring the Five-Dimensional Field: Sound Structures and Sound-Picture Combinations" describes montage in an audio-visual context. The sound techniques associated with the analytical and idea-associative montage techniques are listed. The use of sounds corresponding to a montage of images may be used, or in the case of idea-associative montage, the juxtaposition can occur between the visual and audio element occurring simultaneously.

 


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