Multimodal Publication Modalites

Nobody or nothing exists in isolation: everything is an element of a structure. Every structure is in its turn an element of another structure. (Carrion, 5)

I chose this quote because it was closely related to the concept of how mediums build off of one another. Our multi-modal project will be looking at the development of mediums across human history.

My interest in this topic extends from a class I took with Dr. Barber. Specifically the view presented by Marshall McLuhan that all mediums are all shaped and informed by the mediums that came before it. Mediums are structures that contain information, earlier mediums become elements in the structures of successor mediums.

For example the medium of sound is the basis for human speech. The medium of speech becomes solidified and made into visual symbols for the medium of writing. In these ways we can see that the methods of communication in the past are the scaffolding on which modern mediums such as books and films are influenced by the way that they are presented.

In this way I believe that Carrion is commenting on the way that literature has gone through an evolution over time, and that commentary can be mirrored on other genres of communication. An example I think of are movies and how fundamentally the moving visual image has become engrained in global culture.

The clearest evolutionary trend is towards the visual. Many mediums work to create a way to visually represent the information contained in other mediums. For example text represents the words of speaking in a symbolic fashion to extend how long that information can be stored and retrieved.

As the human race has created every more avenues to deliver visual information the complexity and affordances involved in delivering that information has risen along with it. Our study of hypertexts speaks to the synthesis of many mediums that electronic texts hope to achieve.

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