Triggers are for Guns; Reality is Continuous

Abstract

Multimodal design can be applied in manifold interdisciplinary fields, from developing Web sites to planning dinner parties. This part of the book focuses on applying multimodal design within the context of “new” media education and practice, from the perspectives of both the design process and the users’ engagement with the works. The particular field into which the chapters delve is design for digital media, as applied in artistic works, including film, multimedia, and mixed-reality (MR) situations.

The artists-researchers are exploring these questions by producing MR situations and environments for learning, creativity, or play. The works are usually conceived as full-scale productions, exposed to a wide spectrum of audiences, including both novice users and experts (media designers, performance artists, scientists, engineers, etc.). These works are rewarding case studies for those investigating multimodal literacy because they are often designed to be used by thousands of people in real-life situations. As such, they deal with issues of multiculturalism, robustness, (un)predictability, and (im)permanence that cannot be explored in technological demonstrations or controlled usability studies. The most prominent feature of these works is their ability to intertwine physical reality with digital media. They are worlds in continuous transition between actual and virtual, inside and outside, personal and social, and so on. People involved in making such responsive spaces often refer to them as complete realities or imaginary universes, where the continuity between different sensory stimuli (in their range of modalities) is an important measure of success.