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Soft Cinema (Manovich, Lev), 2002GeneralArts (Plewe, Daniela Alina), 2003

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bound to founder given encyclopaedic ambitions on this scale. But isolating movement sequences lexically to research the contextual constitution of «behavior» and reality is unsuitable from the outset. Grammar does not admit statements about use and contextual semantics, and «cinematograms» cannot go beyond the realms of a limited visual syntax. And yet it is a fascinating vision: working on an encyclopaedia including time-based documents, possibly also configured dynamically.

According to Lev Manovich, the database is the cultural form of the 20th century. But here the database does not provide prefigured systems, but lists and arrangement preferences, which Manovich sees as equalling a central paradigm shift. In traditional theory, the syntagmatic plane presents an explicit narration; the paragdimatic plane of choice possibilities (for narrative forms) was present only implicitly. The relationship is turned round in the computer age: the options are explicit, but the resulting narrations are only implicitly present. [17] Manovich introduces a whole series of artworks to support his theory, from Dziga Vertov to Peter Greenaway—see also Manovich's


randomly generated database cinema, «Soft Cinema» (2002). But a glance at home computers is enough to confirm the theory. Computers illustrate the library as one tool among others on the screen (the «desktop»). «Libraries» and «picture archives» are pre-installed on every home computer, as users now consume and produce masses of picture files as well. Practising working on a computer does not start with creating files, but by learning what possibilities are offered by the reference structures and storage systems within the computer as a universal machine.

If a database is accessible to a wider public (as an intranet or on the Internet), multi-media objects are confronted with a diverse range of ordering, rating and intervention practices. Thus networking, as a dynamic production structure, offers an exponentiation of meaning—though of course the converse is also implied: meaning, or sense, can also change into over- or sub-complex nonsense (cf. the range of textual permutations in Daniela Alina Plewe's Internet work «General Arts,» 2003). [18]

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