Tag Archives: Joseph Matheny

Taking Back Transmedia

“Might we contrive one of those opportune falsehoods … so as by one noble lie to persuade if possible the rulers themselves, but failing that the rest of the city.”

– Plato in The Republic

“If you read it, you will be infected. If you are infected you will be InFicted. If you are InFicted, you will get UnFucted. “

– Joseph Matheny

Those who entered the digital world in the late 80’s and early 90’s were introduced to a nearly unfathomable host of possibilities for media and creativity. DVD’s offered the potential for integrative experiences that tracked user preferences and allowed for multiple story formats which changed with each viewing based on previous use, virtual reality models held the possibility for turning these experiences fully immersive, cell phones and wireless technology promised an unthought of openness to it all, and the internet allowed everyone to dream of a fully connected, creative global conversation that synchronized each aspect into a beautifully coordinated whole. Looking back on those dreams in light of growing concerns over surveillance, advertising, neuromarketing and the like one might wonder what happened to turn the dream into a lousy cold war sitcom.

It was a recent note from my friend Joseph Matheny that shuffled the dust around in my memory and made me realize that my current experience with technology isn’t quite as conducive to creativity as promised. Matheny is about to begin a series of classes for University of California – Santa Barbara (Click Here for More Information) that will cover the basics of multimedia and transmedia production, and I was glad to hear that his insights were going to be available to creatives coming into the field at a serious level. Hopefully it will bring some focus back to what these tools were intended for originally in the minds of their creators.

As one of the early pioneers in multimedia, his alternate reality game Ong’s Hat has become a reminder of what is possible with today’s technology, and a kick in the ass to today’s creatives that are allowing this potential to be misused, abused and denigrated by marketers and media corporations. Matheny’s vision of transmedia production doesn’t end with a shiny bit of intellectual property, it ends with reformatting the mytho-poetic infrastructure of consensus reality.

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R.A.W. Memories – Personal Reflections on the Release of Robert Anton Wilson Remembered

“The works of Robert Anton Wilson have always been delivered to me as I am sure they have been delivered to others; I have come across them at opportune times, synchronistic moments. In an old bookstore on the top of a box I had gone through only days before, there lay Cosmic Trigger exactly when I needed Cosmic Trigger. And then I was awash in a sea of 23’s culminating in the number ’23’ being spray painted on the highway behind my home. Now as I write this there have been 23’s all over the place for two weeks straight and Ishtar Rising appeared buried deep in the wrong section of that same bookstore. But this is normal, I am sure the same has happened to you.”

– from Zac Odinn’s Robert Anton Wilson – Bearer of Gnosis, Agent of Negentropy in Robert Anton Wilson Remembered

Indeed it has, and in a nice crowning fashion just did. As I was browsing Twitter prior to starting this bit of writing what did I see?

As Zac concisely (synchronistically?) notes in his essay, “the negentropy manifests not as a sea but as islands shattering out of the depths;
burning, smoking islands rising from cold cold seas, brilliant flashes illuminating the dark. These vast energies are required as a concentrated response to widespread entropic decay in order to balance out that decay.” A random post on Twitter becomes a sign of some curious mystery, is it meaningful? There begins the quest…

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