ITP blog ยท content-and-its-discontents

Week 8 revisiting course questions

31 October 2018

Revisiting course questions

Can content be translated across containers?

After reading more about medium specificity and playing around with the affordances of AR with Weird Type, I've sort of changed my answer to this question. I still believe that fundamentally, content can be translated across most containers. However, the question of fidelity in translation requires great attention.

During translation, the experience of a piece of content may become so degraded that it loses its original value and purpose. The content may lose its soul. There are affordances of certain containers which are hard to replicate in other containers. For example, in my final project, I describe one performance piece which involves two participants and snapshots taken with Weird Type while the participants have a conversation. This piece could be filmed, maybe even broadcasted live. It could be made interactive by involving a viewer as one of the participants via online video chat. All these changes to the original form, though, make it lose its physicality and allow participants to be much less engaged in the activity than is necessary for the piece to do its cognitive work. The translation fails and we are left with a low-fidelity look-alike.