Introduction to the Visual Arts

Transmedia Storytelling

Banner for Art110 Fall 2015

Writing As Art

As you already know, cyberspace is great for sharing lots of information. In a class like Art110 you can do the entire semester without ever touching scantrons, green books, or printing anything out ink-on-paper. Peeps have used blogs and other tools to share their ideas on Sports, Politics, Health & Lifestyle, Divorce, or any other number of topics. But why limit yourself!? You can also use cyberspace to make shit up!

Yes, by make shit up I mean “fiction.” But not just any fiction. I’m talking about Transmedia Storytelling. Harry Potter is “old” storytelling. It’s great storytelling. And of course we’d all love to have just 1% of J. K. Rowling’s take from the book that single-handedly resurrected reading, but Harry Potter is still a work of fiction that exists between the covers of a book. They might be physical paper covers, or the virtual covers of the eBook on your tablet, or the audiobook you listen to as you drive to school.

With Transmedia Storytelling we have the opportunity to not simply tell stories within the confines of a book, but to tell sprawling stories that span across websites, across identities, and sometimes even across continents as multiple participant-authors collaborate on stories whose arcs cannot be predicted, but only experienced.

Transmedia is Vast

In a single week we can really only scratch the surface of this rich, deep space. But let’s give it a try. There are characters to create. Different platforms to explore. Stories to be told. Stories to be discovered.

Here’s former Art110 student Kaitlin Hodgdon explaining how she came to create the character of an 11-year-old boy for her Transmedia Storytelling activity:

Here’s Robert Pratten, a London-based Transmedia Producer describing contemporary storytelling spaces:

Your Activity

  1. Make a team of 2 or more Art110 students
  2. Create at least as many characters as you have team members
  3. On your blog post write a Character Analysis for your character – who are they, what is their mission, goals, desires, background
  4. Create 2 or more accounts for each Character: Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, Pinterest, etc
  5. Outline a story or starting conditions for your team’s storytelling journey
  6. GO! Post stuff. Interact with your team members!
  7. Your team / story can Optionally interact with other teams and stories. Try to interact and bring others into your story world.
  8. Blog it! Write up your experience. Describe what you tried to do. And what happened. Use screen shots of the different platforms you created work on. Embed videos if you created any.



Comments? Questions? What great art did you see, make, or experience today?

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