Project 1 Design Guide

Assem­blage Com­pos­ing Guide


» The Project is a series of web pages, “screen self-portrait” arranged as frag­ments with links (associative/creative organization).

The con­tent — com­bi­na­tion of text and mul­ti­me­dia — should be a vari­ety of mate­ri­als from all 4 “per­sonal data­bases”:

    • Auto­bi­og­ra­phy (fam­ily his­tory, per­sonal experience)
    • Dis­ci­pline (school, major, career field)
    • Com­mu­nity (group mem­ber­ship, par­tic­i­pa­tion, social activity)
    • Enter­tain­ment (pop cul­ture, mass media, digital/Web/Internet)

» Assem­blage design, mul­ti­modal rhetoric applied:

  • draw upon (“sam­ple from”) each data­base for mate­ri­als toward the “com­pos­ite sketch“
    — con­crete details (peo­ple, char­ac­ters, places, items) in media (images) and in language

    ** Use the dis­course unique / respec­tive to each, at the level of lan­guage and mode (for instance humor or play in enter­tain­ment: films, games, Web con­tent; phrases/references in fam­ily & social communication)

      remem­ber: any / all of your per­sonal data­bases are avail­able to com­pose the “self-portrait” of your expe­ri­enc­ing net­worked media ecol­ogy: Inter­net pub­lic sphere, com­mu­nity imag­ined / felt.




Site Orga­ni­za­tion and Design Criteria


First, cre­ate new Page for Project

  • If using Word­Press: then cre­ate & link sub-pages for sections/fragments of project (orga­nized & hyper­linkedrequired — to sim­u­late cul­tural form/inteface).


  • If using exter­nal site/host (e.g. Wix) — clearly post on your blog the link/s & any doc­u­ments (e.g., story script, materials/sources).
    » include the script (“treat­ment”) on a page, for work­shop (draft / work-in-progress) and credit toward assign­ment cri­te­ria (e.g. words/length, effort, rhetor­i­cal awareness).

    • Note: text of “mate­ri­als” must be posted on Word­Press blog in order to be counted toward requirements
  • When using time-based media (audio / video clips):

    » try to embed when­ever pos­si­ble (e.g., edited mp3, video, media-player clip);

      As states, “To stay orga­nized, make a sim­ple sketch of your desired web­site struc­ture.”
  • Revise & Edit “for publication”

    (i.e. copy-edit, “proof­read” for cor­rect prose; revise for effi­cient style — all text purposeful!)


  • Media Required: two types (min­i­mum)

    • Images required, includ­ing at least one orig­i­nal or manip­u­lated (edited, “pho­to­shopped”).
      — see more appli­ca­tions in list below
      * Orig­i­nal Mul­ti­me­dia Form Not Required
      → Use com­bi­na­tion of your media (images) and found materials
    • Other media forms: audio (songs, ambi­ent sounds); video (media clips, found footage, screen record­ing); ani­ma­tion (GIFs), illus­tra­tions, ref­er­ence mate­ri­als (e.g. doc­u­ments, charts, graphs).
  • Attempt, apply, emu­late spe­cific tech­niques from cul­tural forms — as “Relay” for com­pos­ing in cre­ative & aes­thetic mode.

    (leave implicit within frag­ments; then iden­tify directly on Poet­ics page)


  • Medi­at­ing expe­ri­ence: use cul­tural form as inter­face (sim­u­lated / emu­lated), guide for composing.
      Pur­pose­fully choose a media form / genre suit­able for this type of expres­sion, con­sid­er­ing our method & the project goals; select from data­base research (Relays, Pop­cy­cle).
      — exam­ples we’ve dis­cussed: com­edy (par­ody videos, memes); remix/mash-up (music); others?


  • Expec­ta­tion for dig­i­tal author­ing: attempt to imple­ment the expres­sive tech­niques of this cul­tural form within your mul­ti­me­dia composition.
      Leave this tech­nique implicit (per­form the idea); explain your approach & ratio­nale in Poet­ics section/discussion.

      Include instances of inter­ac­tiv­ity & time-based media (dura­tion) effec­tively; attempt to evoke “mood of thought” of each data­base or part of the net­worked pub­lic sphere.

      Pro­tip: Dis­perse frag­ments & media forms (hyper­text lay­out); care­fully con­sider function/effect of embed­ded objects (media play­ers, images), apply­ing thought­ful dig­i­tal rhetoric or “poet­ics of author­ing” (bal­anc­ing the “fre­quen­cies” or lev­els of each dis­course).



  • Use mul­ti­ple media, expres­sive for­mat­ting, and links within entries.
  • Employ a vari­ety of styles and modes, as “hybrid dis­course” (crit­i­cal + cre­ative modes).

  • Orga­nize text as “frag­ments”:
    » Com­po­si­tion guide from Ulmer Inter­net Inven­tion
    (styl­is­tic help for “dig­i­tal sto­ry­telling” in rela­tion to media composing):

    • Anec­dote: “The anec­dote is an oral form orig­i­nally, and is use­ful for locat­ing sen­sory details of the home envi­ron­ment that evoke the atmos­phere of the place.” (p.90)
    • Although anec­dotes may be highly crafted, for our pur­poses they do not have to have any ‘point’ other than they they rep­re­sent a scene or sit­u­a­tion that remained in your mem­ory.” (p. 92)
    • Micro Nar­ra­tive
      “Sit­u­a­tion: estab­lish the key details of a sit­u­a­tion (the terms of a rela­tion­ship). The rela­tion­ship may be between or among peo­ple, or of a per­son with a place, thing, or event. You may or may not be directly involved with the scene, but it should be ‘non­fic­tion’ in that the scene is based on an actual mem­ory (with­out wor­ry­ing about the accu­racy of the mem­ory).” (p.92)
      “Image: locate and develop some fea­ture of the scene into an image that com­ments indi­rectly or fig­u­ra­tively on the scene, in a way that brings out your present under­stand­ing of the past sit­u­a­tion.” (p.93)
    • The micro nar­ra­tive gives you some prac­tice with nar­ra­tive form itself—the struc­ture that is guid­ing the over­all devel­op­ment of the project. The ‘micro’ dimen­sion enacts the haiku prin­ci­ple of brevity, and avoids ‘con­fes­sion’ since there is so lit­tle space for elab­o­ra­tion.
      It also helps break down blocks such as the false split (for our pur­poses) between truth and fic­tion.”
      “The micro is a very short story that evokes the feel­ing of the domes­tic scene; what counts is not nec­es­sar­ily any one incident…but the feel­ing sug­gested by the story as image.” (p.94)



» Notes on Com­po­si­tion Logic (poet­ics + praxis)

  • you are leav­ing your­self out explic­itly, not com­pos­ing in “first-person sin­gu­lar present-tense direct” dis­course, in favor of express­ing the com­mu­nity sit­u­a­tion with “data­base” ele­ments (“ready­made” sto­ries, char­ac­ters, set­tings, con­crete details). Remem­ber, the DJ, Film Direc­tor, or Game Designer is respon­si­ble for the arrangement—focalization, jux­ta­po­si­tions, orga­ni­za­tion, poten­tial action—while remain­ing absent, in terms of voice (artic­u­la­tion).
    The other way of under­stand­ing your “voice” is in terms of “sig­na­ture,” “fin­ger­prints,” “ear” — your sen­si­bil­ity and per­spec­tive (“per­son­al­ity?”), use to com­pose the project.
  • Expec­ta­tion for dig­i­tal author­ing: attempt to imple­ment the expres­sive tech­niques of this cul­tural form within your mul­ti­me­dia & mul­ti­modal com­po­si­tion.
    • Leave implicit; explain approach & ratio­nale in Poetics.

  • The goal is to quilt an assem­blage of het­ero­ge­neous ele­ments with­out fil­ter­ing to a homo­ge­neous “final product”–the con­sis­tency or coher­ence should appear organ­i­cally rather than arti­fi­cially imposed (e.g. reduc­tive / binary logic of fil­ter­ing and argu­ment). Mul­ti­ple voices & sto­ries should appear in a new form of expres­sion, for which you are respon­si­ble (as the only “link” between unre­lated ele­ments).
    The key task is not to assert your opin­ion or inter­pre­ta­tion or account; rather, to present (per­form) the atmos­phere and dynamic sit­u­a­tion within which you are sit­u­ated and participate.





    → rec­om­mended applications/sites for media work
    (oth­ers? please add sug­ges­tions in comments!)

    » Embed­ding Media into Word­Press pages: Instruc­tions

    » Image Edit­ing:

    GIMP (all oper­at­ing sys­tems)
    Pix­el­ma­tor (Mac OS only)
    Pho­to­shop Express — Web & App (mobile + tablet)
    Aviary app (Android & iOS)

    Cre­at­ing your own GIFs:

    sug­ges­tion: save GIF file & upload to your WP Media Library

    » Screen cap­ture & record­ing for video:

    » Exper­i­men­tal Work by Past Stu­dents

      Note these are pre­sented only as exam­ples of dif­fer­ent arrange­ment approaches (hyper­text, non-linear, assem­blage)
      Your project need not resem­ble these — and should not espe­cially in terms of con­tent
      (stu­dent work for sev­eral dif­fer­ent courses and assignments!)

    » Google Doc — Sign-in required to view (use Iden­tikey)



    I really liked this exam­ple. I feel as though he/she did a great job rep­re­sent­ing her social media expe­ri­ence rather than just aspects about her­self. I espe­cially thought her use of memes was effec­tive in demon­strat­ing her points.

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