Eilittä, Leena. Intermedial Arts

“Beginning in the 1980s, Roland  Barthes,  for  example,  pointed  out  that  everything,  from  painting through objects and practices to people, can be studied as “text.” The influential theories launched by such thinkers as Foucault, Althusser, Lacan and  Derrida  have  put  forward  new  ideas  about  the  social  production  of meaning, gender differences and language. Julia Kristeva’s notion of intertextuality, which focuses on the relations between texts, is the most relevant theory for intermediality.” (pag vii)

Bakhtin’s theory allows the view that verbal expressions are not only influenced by expressions of a
similar art but also by other media and their structures.(pag viii)

” In this new context, medium should be understood as that which mediates on the basis of meaningful signs or sign configurations, with the help of suitable transmitters for and between humans over spatial and historical distances.(pag viii)

Irina O. Rajewsky has  made clear how such intermedial co-existence  comes  into  being  in  works  of  art:  either  via  combinations  or transformations or references to another media. Media combination points to those works of art which benefit from two or more forms of art, such as opera, film or the photo novel. (pag viii)

In such cases, the target media (the painting or piece of music) is not materially present but remains present through being described or in some other way suggested in the source media (i.e., in the literary work). (pag viii)

Lars Elleström has pointed out that a more mature intermedial perspective should build on comparisons and distinctions that take into consideration the full complexities of media. Instead of furthering such dichotomies as verbal–visual or verbal–acoustic,  we  should  speak  about,  Elleström  has  argued,  different modalities in interdisciplinary relations—which he has defined as the four modes of the material, the sensorial, the spatio temporal and the semiotic. (pag ix)

The  essays  in  the  present  collection  provide  rewarding  readings  of intermedial relations between written word, visual image and acoustics/music. Although intermediality does not claim the status of a tightly defined re-
search paradigm, these essays position intermediality as a praxis of interpretive analysis in order to show how intermediality challenges and transforms our notion of art and our reception of experience. Although essays on literature dominate this collection, there are also intermedial analyses of works of theatre, cinema and music.(pag ix)

Correia’s goal in this adaptation was to find the visual means to adapt Bulgakov’s novel  with an aim of creating a coherent and autonomous work expressing  the  artistic  view  of  the  novelist.  His  further  concern  was  to
integrate  music  and  motion  graphics  in  this  project  in  a  way  that  was engaging  to  experience. (pag xii)

Using Stravinsky as his major example, Dayan points out that for the composer, words are the medium of expression and music cannot do anything analogous to what words effect. By analysing several examples from Stravinsky’s compositions, Dayan is interested in solving the paradox which exists regarding Stravinsky’s stubborn  refusal  to  admit  any  word/music  connection  in  his  compositions, despite  his  lifelong  interest  in  the  literary  setting. (pag xii)

Richard Wagner idealised a type of artwork that would combine different forms of the arts in what he called a “total work of art” (Gesamtkunstwerk). Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk is an operatic performance that encompasses music, theatre and the visual arts. As Wagner suggested in 1849: “The true drama is only conceivable as proceeding from a common urgence  of  every  art  towards  the  most  direct  appeal  to  a  common  public” (2001: 5). He concluded that, to achieve this, “each separate branch of art can only be fully attained by the reciprocal agreement and co-operation of all the branches in their common message” (2001: 5). (pag 128)

As Roy Ascott asserts, artists have been increasingly “bring[ing] together imaging, sound and text systems into interactive environments that exploit state-of-the-art  hypermedia  and  that  engage  the  full  sensorium,  albeit  by  digital means”  (1990:  307).(pag 128)

electronic music has played an important role in exploring the potential  of  digital  art  in  the  late  twentieth/early  twenty-first  centuries. Christiane Paul has suggested that digital sound art and music projects are a vast territory that includes  not only pure sonic art (without any visual component), but also audiovisual environments and Net art projects that allow  for real-time compositions and remixes (see Paul 2003: 133). According to Paul, many of the projects within the audiovisual area follow the tradition of “kinetic light performance” or the visual music of Oskar
Fischinger (Paul 2003: 133). (pag 128)

Bulgakov’s  The  Master  and  Margarita  has  been  adapted  frequently, especially following the 1970s. His novel has lent itself to various different media forms, such as cinema, TV, theatre, opera and the graphic novel.(pag 128)

Stylistically, Master and Margarita can be understood as an audiovisual “collage”  inspired  by  Bulgakov’s  book.  Collage  is  an  artistic  technique invented by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, who reassessed painting and sculpture, giving each medium some of the characteristics of the other. Braque and Picasso placed great value on everyday materials and objects. The Futurists and the Dadaists also employed collage, as did painters in the  Russian  avant-garde.  The  latter  used  photomontage,  an  extension  of collage, to support their ideals of a progressive world order (see Waldman, n.d.). Collage is, therefore, a key concept behind this adaptation of Bul-gakov’s novel to the interactive audiovisual project. This collage aesthetic is  applied  using  multiple  techniques.  Visually,  photographs  and  other found or non-drawn elements (such as blots of ink) are mixed with 2D and 3D  animation. (pag 130)

Sonically, the collage is achieved by mixing different types of sound: field recordings of sounds related to the narrative, and samples of music related to the themes of the book, as well as to the collage aesthetics; elec-
tronic percussion and synthesizer sounds were also added. A saturated and multi-layered  work  is  created  that  captures  Bulgakov’s  surreal,  almost demented, universe, creating an engaging multi-sensorial experience. (pag 130)

Van  Campen,  Cretien.  2008.  The  Hidden  Sense:  Synesthesia  in  Art  and Science. Cambridge: MIT Press. (pag 145)