Remediating a web service (Intermedia II)

by Matt on February 10, 2012


At the beginning of this semester, the students in Intermedia II were asked to explore the notion of remediation. One potential form of remediation is to subvert a mediamaking tool, such as a piece of software, in a meaningful way. In other words, to create something new by making the software perform in ways that might not have been intended by its creator.

As an initial exploration of this concept, the instructor, Matt Soar, asked the students to try telling sequential stories using the timeline playback feature in the free wiki service Open Etherpad. The timeline feature plays back all the edits that have been made during the lifetime of the wiki, so, with very careful planning – and no mistakes at all! – simple animations can be created. To the best of Matt’s knowledge this is not something that’s been done before.

Intermedia II student Jennifer Watters used this technique really effectively to make a wry comment on the process of, and distractions attending, the writing of a term paper. NB Best viewed fullscreen.

Credits: Jennifer Watters, COMS374 Intermedia II, Department of Communication Studies, Concordia University, Montréal. Winter 2012. Instructor: Matt Soar. TA: Sean Fraser. A huge thank you to Chris Ball, creator of Open Etherpad, for tolerating our creative misuse of his service.

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