Effects and Affects, Poetics and Dramaturgics: The Logics of Media Production and Reception
All media objects can be semantically scrutinised in their generation, production and reception. The conventions that attend each of these focal moments in the mediation process, allow for systematic investigation of the residual semantic elements embodied in the final media object. In the case of film and video objects, the semantic traces of production emerge most evidently, and conveniently, in the form of mechanical effects. The formal nature of these effects then allows for the determination of grammars, or rule sets of effect usage. These grammatical rules can be seen to arise in the decisions of directors such that the materialisation of an effect is the realisation of a grammatical decision taken by the director. The study and observation of this directorial process allows for a determination of a poetics or formal understanding of the making process.
Beyond the poetics there is the dramaturgics or analysis of a text that is both prior and subsequent to the actual media production. Dramaturgics is the systematic determination of the semantic elements of the object as a whole, both in its initial generation and in its final audience reception. In a simple sense, dramaturgics can be looked at as the determination of the genre semantics of a media object. In contrast to poetics where the semantic traces can be found in the patterns of mechanical effects, in the case of dramaturgics, the semantic traces will be found in the logical relations of identity affects. Such identity affects can be determined in relations interpreted as the grounds of the three traditional genres. In their simplest definition, these affects can be approached by the ration: as Katharsis is to the Dramatic, so Kenosis is to the Lyric, so Kairosis is to the Epic.
Keywords: Kenosis, Katharsis, Kairosis, Mediation, Media, Genre, Affect Logics, Effect Logics, Dramaturgy, Poetics
Dr. Keith Russell
Senior Lecturer, School of Design, Communication and Information Technology, University of Newcastle