Request PDF on ResearchGate | Database as Symbolic Form | After the novel, and Lev Manovich at University of California, San Diego. Manovich, “Database as Symbolic Form”. [Note: Numbers in square brackets refer to paragraphs.] Introduction []. Database (def.): a structured collection of . The Database Logic After the novel and subsequently, cinema privileged narrative as Why does new media favor database form over others? Lev Manovich.

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Retrieved from ” http: First the medium of visual recording — photography — privileges catalogs, taxonomies and lists.

Database as a Symbolic Form

In fact, it can be compared to constructing a sentence in a natural language. The user is trying to build a mental model of the computer model. Thus the narrative becomes just one method of accessing data among others.

Why does new media insist on this language-like sequencing? In summary, database and narrative do not have the same status in computer culture.

Thus, the same data would give rise to more indexes than the number of data elements themselves. It is not surprising, then, that databases occupy a significant, if not the largest, territory of the new media landscape.

We can think of all the material accumulated during shooting forming a database, especially since the shooting schedule usually does not follow the narrative of the film but is determined by production logistics. An algorithm is the key to the game experience in a different sense as well.

In general, creating a work in new media can be understood as the construction of an interface to a database. Similarly, literary or cinematic narrative, an architectural plan and database each present a different model of what a world is like.


It is usually paired with another over-used word — interactive. An interface which offers only a single path through the database results in a traditional narrative. The elements on a syntagmatic dimension are related in praesentia, while the elements on a paradigmatic dimension are related in absentia.

Where the database form really flourished, however, is on the Internet. A site of a major search engine is a collection of numerous links to other sites along with a search function, of course. Does new media similarly function to play out a particular psychological condition, something which can be called a database complex? For instance, until alphabetical organization became popular a few centuries ago, most encyclopedias were organized thematically, with topics covered in a particular order typically, corresponding to seven liberal arts.

Data structure Database model Sensitivity and specificity Cinema 4D. Of course watching Man with a Movie Camera is anything but a banal experience. Introduction to the Theory of….

Manovich – Database as Symbolic Form (Abstract) – Mmswiki

New media Computer programming Computer science Relational model. The prime exception is cinema. The elements contained on different layers will become juxtaposed resulting in a montage look.

It is not surprising, then, that databases occupy a significant, if not the largest, ysmbolic of the new media landscape. Minimalist artists executed works of art according to pre-existent plans; they also created series of images or objects by systematically varying a single parameter. Montage is the default visual language of composite organization of an image. Man with a Movie Camera traverses its database in a particular order to construct an argument.


It is as easy to add new elements to the end of list as it is to insert them anywhere in it. While the modern novel blossoms, and academicians continue to produce historical narrative paintings all through the nineteenth century, in the realm of the new techno-image of photography, database rules.

Historically, the artist made a unique work within a particular medium.

All this further contributes to the anti-narrative logic of the Web. Games sports, chess, cards, etc.

Database as Symbolic Form

The design of any new media object begins with assembling a database of possible elements to be used. She learns its hidden logic, in short its algorithm. From this for, every filmmaker engages with the database-narrative problem in every film, although only a few have done this self-consciously. Examples for databases are multimedia encyclopedias as well as other commercial CD-ROM titles which are collections as well – of recipes, quotations, photographs, and so on.

Manovich – database as symbolic form | Sarah’s blog

For instance, a screen may contain a few icons; clicking on each icon leads the user to a different screen. Competing for the same territory of human culture, each claims an exclusive tight to make meaning out of the world. On the material level, a narrative is just a set of links; the elements themselves remain stored in the databaase.