Monogamous Media and Korsakow

Korsakow is a system that encourages promiscuous connections between video clips. This doesn’t mean lots of lots of connections (though it might), but it does mean that this clip might hook up with that clip, and that one, and that one. And, not or. A way I characterised some of the confusion, and perhaps anxiety, about systems like Korsakow in a symposium today was around this idea of how promiscuous things become. In linear media it is all monogamy, or more accurately a literal serial monogamy, where that clip will always end at exactly 12 seconds, forever (at least until death does do us apart) and then this next clip will always and forever then appear. And play. As makers we don’t seem to want that order to be fucked with. (And lots of interactive documentary is as strident about these strict connections as heritage media with its single channel of constrained cause and effect always-just-this-way.)

My students, in spite of the nonsense of being ‘digital natives’ (now there’s a misnomer) remain highly invested in this notion of monogamous media (reified as the truly important story I have to make in just that way) and remain bemused, startled, threatened and at at times troubled by the looming promiscuity of connection they are being introduced to. We need to learn how to dance with these fragments of our and other’s media, letting them touch and slide and swoon and caress and bump and grind and abut. (Some students, however, are relishing it.)

Future time based media forms and practices are all about this dance, and while I’m not much of a dancer myself, these young people need to learn to get over their reserve.