Storyscape, A New Medium of Media
A New Model of Storytelling Explored Through Theory, Practice and the Development of a Design Vocabulary
Hank Blumenthal (Ph.D. candidate)
TSRB 132, November 16, 2015 @ 3pm-5pm
Committee: Jay David Bolter (advisor), Janet Murray, Michael Nitsche, Carl DiSalvo, and Marie-Laure Ryan
A storyscape is a new medium of storytelling. It originates in the model of transmedia storytelling defined by Henry Jenkins and applied to The Matrix franchise. The storyscape medium is conceptualized from the author/designer perspective as four gestalts that create a whole from stand-alone parts. The four gestalts are mythopoeia, character, canon, and genre. This approach frames the authoring of this story-centric model in opposition to the design approaches of world-building or storyworlds. These four also provide an academic approach that unites theory and practice with a unified design vocabulary and an orientation towards the creation of a cultural and creative product.
Storyscapes, such as The Star Wars franchise or the Marvel Universe, consume a lion’s share of our cultural capital. This recently ascendant medium evolved from the affordances of digital media and the aggregation and remediation of new and old media into a new medium. Starting with the frame of storytelling as a practice and previous aesthetic models such as The Poetics, this research charts the evolution of the storyscape medium across topics of academic transmedia approaches, principles, affordances, and the connecting or conceptualizing principles that act as gestalts. I apply and validate the storyscape method through a methodology of “research through design” of these gestalts and affordances.