*Spring 2016 Born-Digital Projects*

Project descriptions and links to graduate student projects for Interactive History seminar, NYU Cinema Studies, Spring 2016. The projects are accompanied by an analytical paper that reflects on the conceptual/ theoretical connections to the topics covered this semester.


A color-coded (mostly!) “mind map” of the connections between final projects and themes/theories/digital platforms covered in the course

Discover the projects interactively by clicking on the image below:

>> To view full screen image, click here & then click Full Screen: https://www.thinglink.com/scene/785734048168280066

(You can view last semester’s proposals & links to multimedia presentations here )

Read the criteria for this multi-step project & analytical paper here.


Kelsey Christensen. “CineJourney.” CineJourney is an accessible, online database of every film I have ever seen. The structure is fairly simple: each post is a film poster or film image, the post is then tagged with various phrases, which may elucidate generic, directorial, or thematic connections between films in the database. Thus, clicking a tag will reveal a database of films that share said tag.The theoretical inflections of the project are various, but underlying them all is the democratic and activist impulse of liberation film canonization from processes which propose hierarchal and reductive relationships, effectively marginalizing a vast array of films.  The user is effectively sent on a hypertextual journey through tags and connections to different films; the hypertextual paths that may be taken are assuredly infinite, making CineJourney a project that prioritizes fan readings and user agency on all fronts. CineJourney, a tumblr.

Da Ye Kim. “Da Ye’s NYU: My Memories, For Us.”-“Da Ye’s NYU: My Memories, For Us” is an interactive multimedia autobiographical project that explores the blurred boundaries among different temporalities and spaces by drawing private experiences in relation to public spheres. It is a relational autobiography to New York University campus, covering approximately 8 months of my life as a Cinema Studies graduate student at Tisch.The website, dayesnyu.wordpress.com, brings different elements of the project together. It consists of an interactive hyperlink map, with which the viewsers, viewers as users, are invited to play with my personal memories of NYU neighborhood, and a short film titled “Indivisible”, which follows my daily walk from my dorm room on East 14th street to Tisch on 721 Broadway. The visitors of the website can share their own memories of NYU and/or of Da Ye in the “You & I” section. By exposing them in public and allowing others to not only indirectly experience my past, but also interact with a part of my history through non-linear exploration, I also experimented with self-surveillance and playfulness of recombinant history. Come and Nostalgize with me 🙂

Jasper Lauderdale. Don’t Look Away II. Don’t Look Away II is a branching database narrative film, a dynamic prosthetic memory assemblage and an act of digital, global, mobile witnessing. It was conceived as a follow-up to Usher’s 2015 interactive music video experience Chains, which both effectively and affectively chains its viewser to its interface by challenging her to look directly and unflinchingly into the eyes of victims of racial injustice for the duration of the song. Should she turn away for any reason, the linear engine stops and awaits the return of her actuating gaze. While Chains is highly interactive in the sense that it literally cannot function or advance without input from a face, in practice it actually enforces a necessary inactivity on the part of its viewser, a passivity that requires her head to be immobilized (à la the cinematographic apparatus of Jean-Louis Baudry) in order for the narrative to proceed. Such binding passivity has a clear purpose here: Chains aims to stop us (society) from looking away from the reality of racially motivated abuse (“Facing the facts is the first step toward change,” reads the final title card), and its strategy of using black-and-white close-up images of the faces of victims seeks to engender an empathic or compassionate response in its audience. My sequel, named after the hashtag that accompanies Chains, addresses the same subjects, namely police brutality and the state-sanctioned destruction of black bodies throughout the United States, but in lieu of the standardized photographs that isolate faces both from the bodies upon which violence was done and from the contexts of their lives and deaths, I compile an interactive constellation of found footage ripped from YouTube and various online news outlets, using short videos from diverse sources to construct a navigable, expandable database. Access the project here.

Cristina Cajulis. “Here We Go Again.” “Here We Go Again” is an exploration of the intersection of alternative historiographic methodologies and fannish practices, inasmuch as media fandom engagement has the capacity to construct a kind of history. It is an interactive database music video of One Direction’s debut single “What Makes You Beautiful,” comprised of the song in fragments, video clips sourced from fan recordings of live concerts ranging from the band’s earliest performances of the song in 2011 to their most recent in December 2015, the last before an announced eighteen-month hiatus. As the only track in their catalog to have been performed consistently since One Direction’s founding, its various iterations offer a condensed history of the band, documenting changes in personal (hair)style or vocal development, for example, or the departure of Zayn Malik in early 2015 through the re-assignment of his solo to another member. Yet, the database framework represents this history non-linearly, from multiple perspectives, as a bricolage of lived fan experiences that have been remediated and dispersed as social media objects, and then as prosthetic memories for fans whose geographic and/or socioeconomic context posed restrictions to their own attendance. Spliced, remixed, and remediated into an interactive database, these fan recordings undermine the notion of a cohesive and totalizing narrative in favor of an alternative kind of historical writing that is multivalent and multi-authored. As such, “Here We Go Again” is dependent on the viewser’s engagement with the database to construct one possible complete iteration of the music video by prompting them to select a path at each segment, or else having to start again from the beginning, rearticulating the constant engagement between fan and media, a continuous dialogue between the two that relies on the fan’s role as an interpreter of the media and a producer of new content and meanings. Create your remix here. (password: wmyb)

Amani Jordan. “Hip-Hop and Convergence Culture and Technostalgia” is a remix-style video essay, compiled of audio-visual clips/songs/gifs/memes. In addition to the  very artistic, and sometimes confusing(much like the vast database that is, the Internet) style, this video explores the relationship surrounding the resurgence of vinyl, and interactive hip-hop musical experiences(VRTJ, 360 Video, webcam driven films, etc.). It is my belief that hip-hop is a culture that harkens us back to the days of vinyl records and block parties, these elements of which are a part of participatory culture(Jenkins) To clarify, without the input of the average citizen, hip-hop, on all fronts would cease to exist. This participation  is highly connected to contemporaneous times(the Internet Age or 21st Century). The interactive examples found throughout my paper illustrate that hip-hop is not only nostalgic, but also futuristic. Although the relationship is seemingly contradictory, there is something to be said about this complexity. In relating hip-hop’s use of digital tools, I am making sense of the relationship between ephemeral media and physicalized products. Clearly, digital streaming sites are readily available to us  as consumers in this age, however, it should be noted that record companies and record buyers are continuing to exist and expand. Consumers crave tangible products, in order to further their musical enjoyment and experiences. Moreover, I believe my remix to have been a critical commentary on musical consumer  culture. My film is available on the  Critical Commons website. Please enjoy my efforts and feel free to comment/critique accordingly. 🙂

Karen Sadler “The Art Origins Project.” My project began as a test of whether a global online artist community would generate opportunities for collaboration between its users based on connections made through a shared network of individual tags and associations. At the heart of this project’s genesis is each artist’s “origin story” which is based on their memory of the moment in which they first identified themselves as an artist.The project claims to make random connections possible between the users by offering the artists interactive tools that will increase their visibility in the world of this new community.

Project Link     | 


The Art Origins Project Map