Archives pour la catégorie English

Locked Diaries: Another Experiment (2010)

ARCHIVES  KARINE HALPERN 2010 – 2019

I’m experimenting new media literacies and my semantic relationship to the virtuous circle of the web.

I am publishing my  « diaries » as a transmedia advocate and mediator in both French and English. It evolves in short pieces of past and current matters related to the 7 Transmedia Families, my coaching tool that you can find here and there. 

2011 June, Diaries en français 

Quand j’écris en anglais je passe mon temps avec un onglet sur Google et l’entrée DEF pour Définition. Je vérifie tout.

Mais en réalité mon code pour DEF dans mon travail habituel veut dire Définitif, comme un « bon à tirer » – BAT – en imprimerie, ou un « prêt à diffusé » – PAD – en télévision.

C’est à dire qu’un fichier vidéo qui est monté, mixé et validé par un client ou moi-même est dans sa version DEF et peut donc être exporté dans des Codecs appropriés et archivé dans les formats d’archivage et de diffusion tous supports.

La problématique du vocabulaire est intéressante, j’aimerais consacrer plus de temps à cela. Mais voilà, je n’ai même pas eu le temps de restituer sur :

·       « TransmediaCamp », Marseille, 2011

·       « Transmedia Living Lab », Madrid, 2011

·       et le Jeu des « 7 familles transmédia » depuis 2010.

Sans compter la multitude de demandes de la part des uns et des autres qui ont pour point commun de ne pas acheter une prestation mais de la faire faire le plus gratuitement possible ! Nous sommes donc bien dans une refonte totale des modèles économiques. Plus je vais donner, plus je vais donner… Mais à un certain moment l’expertise devient ciblée et complémentaire et les gens ont besoin d’être rassurés et donc d’avoir quelqu’un à « suivre ». Relire Seth Godin ?

J’ai beaucoup, trop, donné. Toutes mes prestations gratuites et bénévoles à chaque fois par principe de valeurs. Si je partage, c’est pour la cause, la culture, l’art de la raison et la raison de l’art, pour mes convictions politiques, pour une action populaire et haut de gamme, ou parce que je suis dans la recherche expérimentale indépendante. Pour rester en France il faut des raisons très valables. La fuite des cerveaux n’est pas veine. Ceux que je suis sont loin du territoire où nous avons grandis.

And-Joy @KHenthusiasm

Transmedia Alliance 10 years later

Transmedia was trendy 10 years ago. Now it’s a field of research. Tomorrow it can be taken to another level.

10 years ago during SXSW 2013 we launched a small nonprofit called Transmedia Alliance, formerly Transmedia Europe (based in France with 21 co-founders from 14 countries.

VOTE for Karine’s conference at SXSW 2023 to celebrate the success of the transmedia concept: SXSW Story versus History 2013-2023

Panelpicker.sxsw.com 2023 Vote 

(community voting ends August the 21st, 2022)

Nowadays what is the status of the international community and its representation or activity? But more importantly, what’s going on with the transmedia concept as a discipline? After joining a research lab in academia in France in 2020, Karine, founder of the Transmedia Alliance, explains the side stories, her experiments, and the status of her current research.

A step in the past to better explore the future and propose ideas for professional practices of today and tomorrow.  

Takeaways

  1. What is the status of the transmedia concept in 2023? Karine will take the risk to answer from her perspective with a back story and a vision.
  2. What will be the status of the transmedia concept in 2050? Even when the term transmedia is not very much in use the concept remains solid.
  3. How to use our assets as a community of transmedia practitionners and advocates? Some tracks, based on more than 10 years of observation.

Karine has been an indie pioneer working from the backstages of an innovative movement (transmedia) that she contributed to building. Because her values have more importance than money, she decided to trust the fluidity of time. She is ready to show the progression of her statements formed in 2010, backed up by scientific work, still in progress, to contribute to the future of the creative industries.

2013: http://fr.slideshare.net/KHwork/press-release-transmedia-meetup-sxsw2013

PhD Diaries and Understanding Formulas (2021)

Instead of writing a list of accomplished or unaccomplished tasks, desired or undesired tasks, in an e-mail, to share with a someone who can understand my I call my « cognitive mess », I blog. Tasks related to my Ph.D. research, precisely the act of constructing the Ph.D. itself (started in 2020).

English is my second language and I love it. It gives much more freedom than French. The French language is for me the same as the people of France, which I am part of, closed and unable to adapt to the bigger picture of the world. Incoherent when it shows an openness that is a fashion instead of an act of real freedom or creativity.

For instance, it has been years of prevision with climate change affecting directly the land of France, and « we » still have permitted the building of non-adapted structures (buildings) on properties where the owners make more money but the earth gets more fragile. Death, losses in general, are usually the rewards. I witnessed this when I lived on the French Riviera with the land sliding under the pressure of water (rains) and destroying houses, roads, and cars, and frightening people.

Constructivism versus Phenomenology.

So, English. This advantage I gain over the years of studying linked me to a wide range of personalities around the world. Some of them are members of what we call today my « community ». I also build it. Construct is also a good word since, according to my « community », it seems that epistemologically I belong to constructivism. It took me 2 years to understand the realms of epistemology. it is more than the study of science.s. For me, it is a way of learning as well, or I should say a way of developing the self of knowledge. ;-) Ah, here I am with the academic vocabulary. I am not impressed with the sciences or academia, anymore, I am just disappointed. Yes, it is difficult to understand, but the amount of work one puts into the learning experience, the study, to become a Ph.D., or we should say to gain a Ph.D., is not only related to sciences in general but to the self-development and the self-growth. I do not mean that one needs to do that to self-grow, not at all. We grow with everything. 

When I first encountered the idea of phenomenology, it was in a bar of the Lower East Side (NYC) with my friend, media theorist, activist, free mind, and creative transmedia peer, Brian CLARK (1968-2015, RIP). He very much knew the ideas behind my serious game entitled « The 7 Transmedia Families », and he became a sort of mentor as I was trying to find out if I was legitimate in the community of pioneers, media theorists, consultants for media agencies, and brands. Most of all I was trying to verify if doing a Ph.D. was a good idea. I did not want to be a filmmaker anymore because the industry was changing and I was able to not only anticipate the changes in the global revolution, but also the new possibilities for people with professional experience. Brian mentions phenomenology when I addressed the idea of a Ph.D. I had no way of understanding, until now. So, what is it about « understanding »? When I understand « it » there is the Eureka moment where I can do the links between the 3 pillars of science or research that I did not know before, I had to study, ok? One needs to study, it is not enough to read blogs ;-).

« Tara Brabazon’s Three Pillars »: Epistemology. Ontology. Methodology. (Humor here for this title)

Epistemology. Ontology. Methodology. Oh My God. When Brian took me to Phenomenology I did not know back then that he was considering writing a book about transmedia design that he called interactive design. I found out later when his father let me looked at his data and because he was talking about it to some friends. I was discussing this strange situation with my long-time collaborator Emmanuel BETHOUX. Emmanuel said that Brian gave me a gift. Now I understand. The gift of linking ideas. I was linking ideas before very intuitively and automatically. With the comprehension of the 3 Pillars (Ontology, Epistemology, and Methodology) I make these links in a more conscient way, it is deliberate and it constructs my own pillars for my research.

When I first heard the word ontology about my work it was the « unknown » and I crystallized the term for the future which is Now the present. It was in 2014, I think, from a friend who is a researcher, during a meeting about my project on the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. I did a documentary film on the 25th anniversary of Woodstock back in 1994. I wanted to adapt the +25 years to the realities of the web and the communities that have been emerging since then. I wanted to use this project as the field of study for my research. I failed. I can explain why, but this is not the time or place, it will be in another post and in the ebook that will complement and augment the dissertation (hopefully). So, I had no idea that someone could make an ontology of transmedia creation, transmedia concept, etc. Now that I understand this idea, here is my position. No, let’s not do that. It is not useful to the community, neither to the study of the transmedia concept. I want to do things that are useful.

There is a credo from Tara BRABAZON: « A contribution to knowledge » when she reminds us about what is a Ph.D. We could add that when we enroll in research it is powerful to propose a contribution to societies. Tara would agree and that is what she does. There is also a statement in the learning process in academia that one should contribute to the society, singular, but I prefer to say it with the plural: societies.

Where do I stand?

My ontology is becoming a transmedia concept series with lots of branches for it, several definitions, categories, propositions for the creators, for the organizations, including for agencies, brands, corporations. My focus in an the role of the Transmediator. There is an ontological way of looking at the transmedia concept and I am working on it since 2010.

My contribution is that I want to propose a new profession.

It seems simple when it is resumed, or summarized I should say. When it will be resumed, maybe in 5 or more years, it will only be based on a lifetime, tons of discussions and meetings, experimentations, readings, and failures. But I think that what it takes an individual to accomplish something for the societies takes a lifetime. Therefore my research methodology (not to be confused with the transmedia methodology I proposed in 2011), cannot be just a chapter in a dissertation, or academic references, or negotiation with my supervisors, even less with questionnaires and interviews! The methodology I create now, in 2021, is based on a lifetime (56 this year). But I will not be able to expose it all as it will be condensed in order to fit the requirements of academia.

My epistemology is taking into account my ontology. Ah, God, this is just unbelievable that I can say that and that I absolutely understand my own saying! The problem is: does my interlocutor understands me? If I have to explain to a jury why my ontological approach is congruent to my epistemological choices for my methodology…. Hum…

I still have 2 years, maybe more, in the making (2021)

Basically, of course, my supervisor, Professor Sophie PENE, was right during our very first (very very first) conversation. I am in the constructivism epistemological space. I can feel it now according to my previous actions, my artifacts, my readings. I can still refer to phenomenology but in an explanatory way for the ontology of transmedia (hum, hum, again). This means that phenomenology can be used in my research as a tool. When I will be describing the areas of transmedia creation that will be the ontology possible at the time, or the present, of the history of the transmedia concept. By the way, there is no « History » of transmedia, even less when it is written by 2 French individuals who have never been in the active online conversations about it we started in 2010. 

If you need to read stuff on transmedia, read in English, in Spanish, but French is not the most significant language in this branch of research. Sorry guys. It makes me things about the « French Theory ». There is this conventional collective idea that French is fashionable…, disruptive, brilliant, it is not. Some people have been that brilliant, but not because they were French. I am still learning about that. And I will be reading in French because I am writing in French, and I do not understand Spanish well. But in general, the best way to cope with the overdose of fake information, written data published, and cultural rumors as for the « French Theory« , is to make your own intuitive and constructive choices, based on experience.

REF.

En Français : Emmanuel BETHOUX, 2014, « Transmédiateur, un nouveau rôle pour l’Enseignant : Un expérience de terrain » (Upblisher), https://amzn.to/2tlrDbH

Ph.D. in the making (August 2021)

Instead of writing a list of accomplished tasks, un-accomplished tasks, desired tasks, undesired tasks, in an e-mail, I blog. Tasks related to my Ph.D. research, the act of constructing the Ph.D. itself (started in 2020).

English is my second language and I love it. It gives much more freedom than French. The French language is for me the same as the people of France, which I am part of, closed and unable to adapt to the bigger picture of the world. Incoherent when it shows an openness that is a fashion instead of an act of real freedom or creativity.

For instance, it has been years of prevision with climate change affecting directly the land of France, and « we » still have permitted the building of non-adapted structures (buildings) on properties where the owners make more money but the earth gets more fragile. Death, losses in general, are usually the rewards. I witnessed this when I lived on the French Riviera with the land sliding under the pressure of water (rains) and destroying houses, roads, and cars, and frightening people.

Constructivism versus Phenomenology.

So, English. This advantage I gain over the years of studying linked me to a wide range of personalities around the world. Some of them are members of what we call today my « community ». I also build it. Construct is also a good word since, according to my « community », it seems that epistemologically I belong to constructivism. It took me 2 years to understand the realms of epistemology. it is more than the study of science.s. For me, it is a way of learning as well, or I should say a way of developing the self of knowledge. ;-) Ah, here I am with the academic vocabulary. I am not impressed with the sciences or academia, anymore, I am just disappointed. Yes, it is difficult to understand, but the amount of work one puts into the learning experience, the study, to become a Ph.D., or we should say to gain a Ph.D., is not only related to sciences in general but to the self-development and the self-growth. I do not mean that one needs to do that to self-grow, not at all. We grow with everything. 

When I first encountered the idea of phenomenology, it was in a bar of the Lower East Side (NYC) with my friend, media theorist, activist, free mind, and creative transmedia peer, Brian CLARK (1968-2015). He very much knew the ideas behind my serious game entitled « The 7 Transmedia Families », and he became a sort of mentor as I was trying to find out if I was legitimate in the community of pioneers, media theorists, consultants for media agencies, and brands. Most of all I was trying to verify if doing a Ph.D. was a good idea. I did not want to be a filmmaker anymore because the industry was changing and I was able to not only anticipate the changes in the global revolution, but also the new possibilities for people with professional experience. Brian mentions phenomenology when I addressed the idea of a Ph.D. I had no way of understanding, until now. So, what is it about « understanding »? When I understand « it » there is the Eureka moment where I can do the links between the 3 pillars of science or research that I did not know before, I had to study, ok? One needs to study, it is not enough to read blogs ;-).

« Tara Brabazon’s Three Pillars » (humor here for this title)

Epistemology. Ontology. Methodology. Oh My God. When Brian took me to Phenomenology I did not know back then that he was considering writing a book about transmedia design that he called interactive design. I found out later when his father let me looked at his data and because he was talking about it to some friends. I was discussing this strange situation with my long-time collaborator Emmanuel BETHOUX. Emmanuel said that Brian gave me a gift. Now I understand. The gift of linking ideas. I was linking ideas before very intuitively and automatically. With the comprehension of the 3 Pillars (Ontology, Epistemology, and Methodology) I make these links in a more conscient way, it is deliberate and it constructs my own pillars for my research.

When I first heard the word ontology about my work it was the « unknown » and I crystallized the term for the future which is Now the present. It was in 2014, I think, from a friend who is a researcher, during a meeting about my project on the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. I did a documentary film on the 25th anniversary of Woodstock back in 1994. I wanted to adapt the +25 years to the realities of the web and the communities that have been emerging since then. I wanted to use this project as the field of study for my research. I failed. I can explain why, but this is not the time or place, it will be in another post and in the ebook that will complement and augment the dissertation (hopefully). So, I had no idea that someone could make an ontology of transmedia creation, transmedia concept, etc. Now that I understand this idea, here is my position. No, let’s not do that. It is not useful to the community, neither to the study of the transmedia concept. I want to do things that are useful.

There is a credo of Tara BRABAZON that says: « A contribution to knowledge » when she reminds us about what is a Ph.D. We could add that when we enroll in research it is powerful to propose a contribution to societies. Tara would agree and that is what she does. There is also a statement in the learning process in academia that one should contribute to the society, singular, but I prefer to say it with the plural: societies.

Where do I stand?

My ontology is becoming a transmedia concept series with lots of branches for it, several definitions, categories, propositions for the creators, for the organizations, including for agencies, brands, corporations. My focus in an the role of the Transmediator. There is an ontological way of looking at the transmedia concept and I am working on it since 2010.

My contribution is that I want to propose a new profession.

It seems simple when it is resumed, or summarized I should say. When it will be resumed, maybe in 5 or more years, it will only be based on a lifetime, tons of discussions and meetings, experimentations, readings, and failures. But I think that what it takes an individual to accomplish something for the societies takes a lifetime. Therefore my research methodology (not to be confused with the transmedia methodology I proposed in 2011), cannot be just a chapter in a dissertation, or academic references, or negotiation with my supervisors, even less with questionnaires and interviews! The methodology I create now, in 2021, is based on a lifetime (56 this year). But I will not be able to expose it all as it will be condensed in order to fit the requirements of academia.

My epistemology is taking into account my ontology. Ah, God, this is just unbelievable that I can say that and that I absolutely understand my own saying! The problem is: does my interlocutor understands me? If I have to explain to a jury why my ontological approach is congruent to my epistemological choices for my methodology…. Hum…

I still have 2 years, maybe more, in the making.

Basically, of course, my supervisor, Professor Sophie PENE, was right during our very first conversation, I am in the constructivism epistemological space. I can feel it now according to my previous actions, my artifacts, my readings. I can still refer to phenomenology but in an explanatory way for the ontology of transmedia (hum, hum, again). This means that phenomenology can be used in my research as a tool. When I will be describing the areas of transmedia creation that will be the ontology possible at the time, or the present, of the history of the transmedia concept. By the way, there is no « History » of transmedia, even less when it is written by 2 French individuals who have never been in the active online conversations about it we started in 2010. 

If you need to read stuff on transmedia, read in English, in Spanish, but French is not the most significant language in this branch of research. Sorry guys. It makes me things about the « French Theory ». There is this conventional collective idea that French is fashionable…, disruptive, brilliant, it is not. Some people have been that brilliant, but not because they were French. I am still learning about that. And I will be reading in French because I am writing in French, and I do not understand Spanish well. But in general, the best way to cope with the overdose of fake information, written data published, and cultural rumors as for the French Theory, is to make your own intuitive and constructive choices, based on experience.

SOURCES

The 3 pillars by Tara BRABAZON are on her YouTube Channel in English: https://www.youtube.com/user/TaraBrabazonMore from Tara: https://tarabrabazon.libsyn.com/

The Epic Feed with Brian CLARK, « Transmedia is a Lie », 21 avril 2012 and the comments:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/brian-clark/transmedia-is-a-lie/10150841850433993?comment_id=25044280&notif_t=like

My article in English in 2017 on the experience of the Transmedia Mix in 2014, short URL: bit.ly/2UpgrGf

Emmanuel Bethoux 2014, en français, « Transmédiateur, un nouveau rôle pour l’Enseignant : Un expérience de terrain » (Upblisher), https://amzn.to/2tlrDbH

Webisode: Social Web & Transmedia Concepts Dialectics (2011)

One medium, several media, and no! McLuhan is not at all obsolete, it is quite the contrary! It is not too late for the so-called experts to revisit it (this is a practice in Canada). Communications (plural) is a recent discipline of the 20th century that has not been deepened and this should be done now.

Interpersonal communication.

The art of communicating between individuals … However, this applies to different scales online, « on the web », because this interaction may be private but online; or public and online; or public and very open with tags and its associated keywords that give the interaction a certain its power and direction, sometimes desired but sometimes unwanted. We can therefore be pleasantly surprised or disappointed, or we can use strategy to « web-social-network » with efficiency, and communicate our message. If the set of communications is consistent and can penetrate a universe that has a real story, online and in real life, to discover progressively while contributing according to our desire, then we arrive at a transmedia communication that has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with the power of communication and the proper use of its multiple tools.

Online presence.

This dialectic formula seems more appropriate, with the phrase « online présence » there are all scales including interpersonal communication as well as marketing and public interactions, just being there « on the web » to be caught by any of us at any time, then abandoned, listed, commented and sometimes remixed.

The social web.

The formula that I started using two years ago (* 2011) still seems to be the most appropriate for my personal and professional opinion, regardless of academic research. By focusing on R&D and transdisciplinary, this formula takes into account the sociological aspects, semantics, semiotics, communications, media, technology, etc.

Online communication.

This expression seems to be the ideal formula for a classical point of view, but it reminds me of corporate communications and led to its square side. Online communication interaction can be a « push » when a company markets a product to consumers, or when a « ruling class » addresses a group in a paternalistic manner, or under the formulation of a BtoB campaign – business to business – it remains too professional and not very accessible to the general public.

Web and networks, a new « synchrony »

Yes, I use a lot of quotation marks! In the articles I am submitting to you readers, it helps to manage our language and mediate the online communication I am reaching out to you on the social web! With a target for online presence, and concern for self-expression and shared knowledge. This social and digital positioning is very much in line with current activism, and participatory democracy in its infancy. It spreads and restructures each time with entry points on online actions, which are used for experimentation in the “open culture”. Since the web is now more accessible to all, the practice of individuals is useful and applies to the entire population. we already know that my practice of « AR&D » , Applied Research and Development (?), is very useful to the new global economy. And here I use the term “international” instead of “global” on purpose and specifically to refer to international cooperation.

Synchrony, synchronicity

This term came to me with lively discussions with actors (comedians, « acteurs de théâtre ») in the vein of the practice of Stanislawsky which I enjoyed studying at Hunter College, City University of New York in 1986, with polish Professor Bogdan Trukan, who was amusingly speaking French while I was there to improve my English. The idea of synchronicity has pursued me until I read the work of Jean-François Vézina, Canadian psychologist and author, and this of course led me to read Jung. Vézina is approaching psychology with the artistic discipline of cinema, and this is a useful tip I have been using a lot! These two disciplines together, film and psychology, have served me extremely in my approach to digital communication. Imagine adding the discipline of music … I quickly found the term synchronicity with the web pioneers to finally have the pleasure of reading the last book by Daniel Goleman which fortunately makes it a little more formal for the discipline of emotional intelligence and social intelligence. I am interested in those two parallel and complementary disciplines: the practice of online social networks in terms of technology,
and that of the point of view of human communications,
creating two forms of synchronicity, one from computer programming and the other from human expression and perception.

Regarding the term perception, I stand strong with it because it is a term I got from the theory of communications which seems more appropriate than the term « reception » used by French researchers for the reception of artistic works by the public. Having also studied cultural mediation, I make a difference between perception and reception as I distinguish between the synchrony of computer codes and the synchrony of human thoughts expressed in an online conversation and social networks.

Do not be afraid of vocabulary!

The purpose of this dialectic is to have fun with words to defeat the fears about the practice of transdisciplinarity, an inescapable (unavoidable) practice. We did not take for granted the warnings from the great Edgar Morin… My approach is a reaction to the far too many bad practices, especially in France, for which we will never have enough time to explain and analyze. My analysis is based on very long-term observations, as in medical research, and practical experiments, such as in medical research laboratories. This is my « AR&D » in my Think&Do Tank. I talk about the pharmaceutical discipline on purpose because this topic will be developed and it is very much a current trendy topic in innovation. It includes the approach of transhumanism and the use of technological tools in biotech, and the development of certain (“de pointe”) economic sectors (this is written in 2011…).

To conclude with dialectics and « AR&D »…

Academic researchers are very separated from the business world, especially in France. People are teaching new disciplines with no materials and references, most of the time researchers have not been having a career or a professional role, and do not put their hands in the dirt (I have happily found some exceptions confirming this rule with its rarety). This addresses another societal issue. We knew this would happen but I have found that the formal and informal rules of academia make this obscure and poor, bringing poorly documented work and unverified knowledge to an unemployed population who do not know where to find labels of quality.

Analyzing bad practices is the only current solution in transmedia communication and the social web, to analyze and create methodologies and make recommendations. Analyzing one’s mistakes has always been the way of progress for human beings.

Labeling the quality is probably the next niche. Startuppers and politicians, on your marks!

Champions for this article: Edgar Morin – Brian Clark – Stuart Ewen

Multimodality Thinking (2020)

In a 2020 podcast on Multimodality, Professor Tara BRABAZON mentions McLuhan (  https://tarabrabazon.libsyn.com/smash-cut-multimodality). In his blog post, Professor Henry JENKINS mentions him too (https://bit.ly/3mhjA9B) In the same period of time I spoke briefly with Professor Manuel ZACKLAD https://www.zacklad.org/) about my research project (2020) and I also referred to McLuhan, but this time with a sense of humor because I know researchers and scholars like to have references that are up to date with the most recent advanced work in their field. I am a beginner in research though I am an experienced thinker in real life with an overview of the ‘trans-formations’ we endeavor as humans. Therefore I understand very well that one can not agree with the Message: « The Message is the Medium » (McLuhan) and even more nowadays in 2020. 

In 2010 I was conducting an experimentation in an artist residency in France about the idea of transmedia. It came to mind that we still do not know about what is the most important between the message and its medium(s)…

Today, I can confirm that the most important is not to find an answer but to continue to reflect on the idea of the complexity of multimodality and to envision this topic as part of the media literacy that should be taught in early in school.

Halpern Transmedia
Halpern Transmedia

The ability to consider the question of messages versus media is just enough of a problem to be studied forever and so McLuhan will never be obsolete as it triggers the strings of the gigantic puppet shows we live in. The idea of transmedia that I carry since 10 years is illustrated in my mantra I used to post on social networks:

« transmedia is to the media what contemporary art is to the arts »

It shows that it is very difficult to have easy explanatory access to this concept and that it is as subjective as the appreciation of art. To simplify the comprehension of the transmedia concept I often use the idea of the traditional postal card that one receives via the post office: if you have one chapter of a story on that card, and another chapter in your phone, and another chapter in… That is already a transmedia approach, just so we know…

GRATITUDE Post Scriptum:

Thank you Fernando CARRION for posting in the « Transmedia Education » group we launeched in 2011 and, as usual, I have so much gratitude for Prof. Tara BRABAZON for the extraordinary work that she provides for all Ph.D. candidates, students and supervisors. The generosity and the accuracy that emanates from Tara’s work is very profitable to our times. (October 2020)

Transmedia Diaries #2

A blog series I was holding back to leach the substance of how I came up with all that « stuff ». Not a transmedia work as a form of communication, but a piece of storytelling with text about the stories happening while working on the transmedia concept itself, as an indie creative researcher, in order to co-design the future. It started in December 2010 with a corner-stone on the French Wikipédia. French native, yes, still a transmedia advocate. My way.

Past serves the Future via the Present.

Some people are born greedy. How come? And what’s worse? The hypertrophy of the ego is worse. No, it’s not the same, though they do associate very well.

A former high school friend was born in a greedy family but as I was 15 I had no idea what it meant and I was intrigued by their materialistic way of life. She was a girl lost in a malish jewish family-hood, lacking attention and transforming her needs into authority at school, trying to control us, kids. Living in Cannes on the French Riviera does not help a teen to prepare for the 21st century (and beyond). Tough my creative career was made possible by the fact that I was involved with the cultural and public life of the city very early, I did wonder how much I could bear with the materialists, the greedies and the opportunists. I could never imagine they could also lie. We learn.

After 15 years of promotion of the « Indie American Cinema » in Cannes and elsewhere, as well as promoting my « French Short Films Wave » of the ’90s, I quit from my job in Cannes (and New York, and Paris) on the spot. I gave up. Fed up.

Sandy Mandelberger, former Director of the IFP and other agencies of the film industry, arrived at my home in the early morning with the press kits of the indie movies made by American young directors to hand them to me for their dissemination. In Cannes, we wake up very early to either get to the press screenings at 8 am, or place the materials in hotels lobbies before breakfast. Well, not all festival attendees do that, but the professionals, the ones working at the film market. No film market, no Cannes. No Cannes, no international film and television industry system. Of course over the years the Cannes film festival changed, in the 80s-90s the film industry was « still » great. Sandy and I were pioneering and I thank him for hiring me in New York when I was a film student.

I opened the door and said to Sandy that I quit. I did not want to work for the promotion of nasty film directors, greedy producers, or even great artists, because great artists make you miserable sometimes. The pay was too low for the assets I was putting on the table. I also was a short film director and wanted to produce my first feature, I had a non-profit on my own to work on cultural events with valuable partners, so doing this job every year and sometimes for events in other cities, was too much work for little money. In the film and TV industries, the most valuable asset is your network. Mine was valuable, it was a pity to waste it for the promotion of people with hypertrophy of the ego who will not be here the next year, or ever.

20 years later.

The Cannes high school friend became a mother, working with her brother, or should I say « for » a brother, then « for » her husband. Really? No time for being creative, create her public exposure, be in the fields, learn the real world outside family life, real-world that she never actually experienced on her own. Her husband, one of those other teens from Cannes (really?) became a greedy film producer. Almost logical. Working in France makes it possible for a smart greedy person to benefit from the subsidies and grants from the government agencies (this worth an article…) and to network with the industry in order to build a business that is making money even if it is not providing valuable artistic or cultural assets. I had met hundreds of those. I even worked for some. In this case, there was the common subtle unhealthy distortion of what we call « author’s rights ». He was able to make more money as an author than a producer, using the techniques of the French system for the sake of copyright. That is another story, let’s go back to the « wife », the sister-mother dying for real professional or creative life.

2009, Europe.

I was building an international community for the sake of the Creative Commons. My political investment changed my life. Instead of working « for » the creative industries, I preferred to change it for the sake of ethics and because I was not aligned with the way the French system was working, not even the European system which I know very well. My strong international network and my habits with public relations and the creative businesses allowed me to be fast-building non-profits organizations and innovative tools and communities. New York was still my ideas box and my second home. I met Lance Weiler in London though, where I also saw several of my peers, when we all got « Transmedia Ready » (explanations to come in the next post).

2010, Paris.

I ask my former high school friend, the « wife-mother-sister », to join me in the launch of a company because she has know-how I do not have, such as business management. I recalled of her as being an unfair greedy person but I was sure that she could understand the opportunity that I was describing. In this, I was very right. I thought that partnering with a long time friend from school, will avoid the issues I had in the film industry before in partnering with male-minded greedy producers (see, #meetoo). I asked her to co-found the company. The corporation. I would still have the non-profits on the other side for political and public activism as I did not want to mix the two. This is crucial.

One cannot mix public and private activities when advocating for a concept, for a cultural statement, for change activism, for politics, for social change, or even sustainable life or business. It just does not work overtime. We all tried. One can build a non-profit and a corporation on the side, but the non-profit shall be the private agency for the private money system. Clear. For more than 10 years I was not really making money with Transmedia Ready, I even lost some. Same with Transmedia Meetups (started December 2010), Transmedia Alliance (launched in 2013), and all collaborative workshops such as Barcamps and hackathons. But it was possible to build an on-the-side Transmedia Ready studio or agency to pay ourselves so I can continue to do the necessary activism that was supposed to change the rules at the level of the European Commission. Ambitious? Possible.

There was a good long term strategy for cultural change. Trying to change rules in the ecosystem of the French creative industries was not possible as the copyrights law is also controlled by Europe and the economic and business models are also controlled by Europe, as in any other industry. Even if the idea of Authorship is historically French, even if this money wise copyright protection paid smart greedy opportunists such as the « high school friend’s husband ». (One needs to know the tricks to get money from gov. agencies and copyright unions, but it is worse learning).

Money from the audiences (you and I) enters the public European or French bank accounts and, remains there (…), then it is used for subsidies, sometimes some grants too, to the ones who can manage the rules. That built the actual system we are in. For how long still? There are millions of euros in Luxembourg. Brussels, Geneva, and Strasbourg where the European Parliament is. « They » vote in Strasbourg, but the management offices are in Brussels, and sometimes in Luxembourg (not really in the Union), for instance, Eurostat, the European body for statistical studies is a huge building with some empty offices and lots of well-paid agents in Luxembourg (I worked there as a freelance producer).

2011, Paris.

Back to the girl from Cannes. She litterally said: « I will have a good salary, I’m worth 5.000 euros per month, I’m used to make money. Not like you« . Shocked. I was still in the memory of my best summer ever in 2010, at the « Digital Peak », filming a hacking camp in the mountains of the South of France, with great open-minded people about the Commons and the Open Source. I was building an open-minded community for Change in the current cultural habits destroying the fairness of the creatives, the pioneering, the sense-making of future generations in the media, museums and schools. And, hopefully, reach the decision-making commissions in Brussels and professional gatherings such as market places and conferences. Dream versus utopia.

Nevermind. I took « her » with me to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco (but once she got the authorization from the family to leave home… humor). Our items of luggage really do not look the same! I had no idea, I just was so much into trusting some other transmedia activists abroad, that I let her took over my network. I did not know what she was preparing behind my back. One cannot say that this is a typically female jealousy issue because I had a similar story with a male New Yorker. A transmedia advocate turned a smart open community of pioneers into a corporation and, even worse, into a trademark. He also used my European strategy to copy-paste, spreading his trademark in several cities including France.

Long term strategies work only with long term ethics.

Backed-up by her greedy unfair husband, the former high school enemy was able to convince some people to work for her, even for free, and not work with me. In one year, I lost friends, investment, and self-esteem. My reputation was attacked and it was spreading all over the international community. Just the fact that I was carrying this « greedy not-so-smart woman » with me in public places made me lost friends because they could not understand why I was with her, or her with me, using my brand.

One day in her home in Paris, straightforward, no introduction: « My husband has nothing to do with this as I take my decision alone but I do not need you, I can do it alone and start my own company ». Done. She also wanted to use the very same business cards. Why did she say that her husband was not involved? Follow my thoughts… I had betrayals in the film and television industry with partners, that was the reason I wanted to work with a high school friend, for the trust. Breaking. She said I could keep the brand… Thank you. She just used the same word without « Ready ». Then she did the copy-paste strategy. Talking a lot was easy for her and by using Names she convinces some naive debutants to get into projects pioneering from the Open Culture and the Open Innovation. Other advocates just did not know anything about this as they all thought she was still associated with my own values, name and network.

The backstories are worth to wait for the revelations when one can judge the real success. Is it money, fuzzing social media (fake statements), or long term ethics?

Today transmedia is developed as a concept by different social groups. One of them is academia, especially in the Spanish language. I never left. I waited. « Transmedia is to the media what contemporary art is to the arts ». I had submitted this statement to the approval of my mentor Brian Clark (passed and missed 1968 -2015.) before making it public. I honor him also for helping me to see the ideas to use in my research, for instance, the Phenomenology theories in philosophy. My statement is still valid. I did doubt. It is mine but I do not need to trademark it (follow my thoughts…). As long as I shared it with smart fair peers and some researchers, I am happy to be an innovative person making a difference for the future, even if painfully broken, especially by greedy opportunists with the hypertrophy of the ego: that disease does not heal, and is not contagious, we wait and they are gone!

Sustainability in the strategy and together with the content, is key. That is the future.

Past serves the Future via the Present. And-Joy.