Project Proposal – Multimodality through Composition

Gunther Kress says, in his book Multimodality, that in a social-semiotic frame, multimodality can be seen as technologies of transcription.   He says, “If image shows the world, then that is different from words in speech or writing telling the world.  In that perspective, modes offer distinct ways of engaging with the world and distinctive ways of representing the world.” (Pg. 96, Par. 3). With this said, I envision creating a video composition where I have various languages of the world speaking a certain set of words (I’m envisioning these words coming from a combination of poems I’ve written in the past (Definition of You  and Chameleon, or one of the two).  Not only will these words be verbally showcased, they will be accompanied by the text of the poems scrolling/flashing across the screen.  In addition to the audible mode of the orated words, and the readable mode of the written words, various screens of flashing color will be used to represent various tones and moods to further add to the multimodal experience. 

In Claire Lauer’s piece entitled Contending with Terms: “Multimodal” and “Multimedia” in the Academic and Public Spheres, she says, “Multimodal texts are characterized by the mixed logics brought together through the combination of modes such as images, text, color, etc.” (PDF Pg. 3, Par. 3). This combination of images, text, and color is exactly what I set out to do with this project.  If the argument of the piece isn’t clear enough by reading the words within each poem, it’s simply a means of illustrating what Shakespeare said best: “To thine own self be true.”   The length of the composition is yet to be determined, however, I’m leaning towards a 3:30 cut off.  Similarly, the size of the composition is also to be determined.  I’ll most likely use 720 x 480 pxls, but this may change.  I’m also considering incorporating a song entitled “Everybody’s Fool” by Evanescence into this project, which will further add to the multimodality of the piece by giving the same message multiple times through multiple modes (spoken in English, French, and possibly Italian, sung in English, read in all three of the aforementioned languages, with the addition of various colors to help set the mood of the piece).

Because the final composition is being created for the sake of my portfolio, my target audience is anybody who stumbles upon my site.  More specifically, however, the audience is most likely to be comprised of design students and professionals, new media gurus and those interested in the field, as well as one person in particular who more than likely frequents my page, and who is the main subject of both poems.