Windows and Glass

Today, in my Literature course (LANG1006 Literary Realism to Post-Modernism) we discussed narrative styles. We came to the analogy of a window. Naturalist narrative is like the glass in a window pane, you look through it to see what’s happening on the other side, but you don’t pay attention to the glass itself, in fact you rarely notice it unless you’re looking. On the flip side, Modernist authors are trying to stain the glass so that when you look through, you have to notice the glass as well, and the glass taints the view of what we are looking through to.

How can we think of this in terms of media making? It can be linked to the ideas in yesterday’s Integrated Media lecture about being aware as we create. Unaware media practitioners (or naive creators) make things using plain glass window panes, because that’s what they know how to use and it’s unobtrusive. Aware, sophisticated media practitioners can make use of the availability of stains to add to the glass, drastically changing the way their work is viewed. However, aware creators can also choose to create with plain glass, if they know that will be the best way to convey their message.

Perhaps I’ve taken this metaphor too literally, but I quite like it. It can even be taken further in terms of media once you start thinking of what the window frame might be made of, or what room the window is in, or what direction it’s facing, or whether the window itself is the subject when lit from the inside and viewed or experienced from the outside.

Perhaps the window is merely a window and the subjects/participants/viewers/collaborators can view themselves/each other from the inside and the outside.

So here’s my little bit of food for thought, what does your window look like and how does that impact your work? And for extra credit, what would happen if that window was altered…?

Broken window frame - storm damage
Source: Eva the Weaver on Flickr

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2 responses to “Windows and Glass

  1. Pingback: Windows and Glass | SouthWeb

  2. Guess what! You have just been republished by SouthWeb-Blogging Around: http://southweb.co.za/blog/windows-and-glass/

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