Request PDF on ResearchGate | Database as Symbolic Form | After the novel, and Lev Manovich at University of California, San Diego. Manovich, “Database as Symbolic Form”. [Note: Numbers in square brackets refer to paragraphs.] Introduction []. Database (def.): a structured collection of . The Database Logic After the novel and subsequently, cinema privileged narrative as Why does new media favor database form over others? Lev Manovich.

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This is what distinguishes the experience of a database in a media object from that of a narrative.

Cinematic and literary narrative, the architectural layout, and the database “each present a different model of what a world is like. In this sense the database is “a cultural form of its own”.

Database as Symbolic Form – Semantic Scholar

Thus, the concept of the database may provide a new concept for thinking about ourselves and how our lives are organized. CD-ROMs and web sites are typical media for database structure. They allow multiple routes through the data random access. In the case of web sites, they are open to change dafabase, thus, not necessarily complete or self-contained.

Not all new media objects are organized explicitly as databases, e. General Principle of New Media: Database and narrative are in opposition to one another in the sense that a database is inherently unordered ; narrative is inherently ordered. In other words, database is to data structure as narrative is to algorithm.


Manovich – database as symbolic form | Sarah’s blog

Therefore the interface and the work were the same; in other words, the level of an interface did not exist. With new media, the content of the work and the interface become separate. It is therefore possible to create different interfaces to the same material.

To clarify the distinction between database and narrative it’s important to state what we mean by “narrative”. In order to qualify as a narrative, an object must satisfy the following criteria: It must be constituted by “a series of connected events caused or experienced by actors. The database is a support or foundation for the narrative which is, in turn, the interface to the database. An interface which offers only a single path through the database results in a traditional narrative.

When the interface offers multiple paths to the “reader”, a hyper-narrative results. There are two dimensions to keep in mind when thinking about the role of databases and narratives. For instance, all nouns form a set; all synonyms of a particular word form another set. Other non-grammatical categories could be identified just as well.

So, for example, ‘no’ and ‘in’ belong to the set of all symboolic with only two letters. How does this relate to new media? In traditional literary and cinematic contexts, “the database of choices from which narrative is constructed the paradigm is implicit; while the actual narrative the syntagm is explicit.

Database the paradigm is given material existence, while narrative the syntagm is de-materialised. Paradigm is privileged, syntagm is downplayed.


Paradigm is databaase, syntagm is virtual. What determines whether a cultural object takes on a narrative or database form? Manovich rules out the mode of access as a way of explaining cinema’s predominantly narrative forms vs.

For example, the daatbase lends itself to random access, but supports both narratives and collections of data. Both have existed long before modern media.

Manovich – database as symbolic form

Manovich claims that “we want new media narratives, and we want these narratives to be different from the narratives we saw or read before”. How can database and narrative work together to produce these new media objects? We can think of all the material accumulated during shooting forming a database, especially since the shooting schedule usually does not follow the narrative of the film but is determined by production logistics.

During editing the editor constructs a film narrative out of this database, creating a unique trajectory through the conceptual space of all possible films which could have been constructed. From this perspective, every filmmaker engages with the database-narrative problem in every film, although only a few have done this self-consciously. Other cultural objects which use computing for production and storage but not for final distribution — television programs, feature films, magazines, books and other paper-based publications, etc.