Across and Beyond
ORIGINS AND DEFINITIONS
In this brief essay, trans + medium refers to “going across and beyond,” + “the materials that are used to create a work of art,” as well as “an agency or means of doing something”, and “the intervening substance through which sensory impressions are conveyed or physical forces are transmitted.”
It should be noted as well, that, Transmedium can be defined as a psychic who crosses between the natural and supernatural.
The plural of medium is media, some are familiar with the term ‘Transmedia’ when referring to a set or collection of multiple mediums.
In current times, many people use the term ‘Transmedia’ to allude to:
a narrative or project that combines multiple media forms. A transmedia project may combine many different types of prints or prose text, graphics and animation, or work across multiple platforms, such as different types of social media platforms, interactive websites or advertising outlets.
Or another example:
Transmedia storytelling is the practice of designing, sharing, and participating in a cohesive story experience across multiple traditional and digital delivery platforms – for entertainment, advertising and marketing, or social change.
In popular culture and industry, people clearly associate ‘Transmedia’ with digital and communication technologies as these terms have generally come to be linked with (if not synonymous) Transmedia. As explored in this article, there are also links between Transmedia and the work of Marshall McLuhan, an acclaimed theoretician and philosopher of the 20th century, who “pioneered some of the theory around analyzing both the medium, and the message that is transmitted through it.”
not conforming to established patterns, styles, etc
In the spirit of mashing up and ‘remixing’ McLuhan, futurism, crossing boundaries, innovation, art, transmedia storytelling and the aforementioned definitions of trans + medium, I share the following re-hash and definition and distinctions in how Transmedium is being applied as a concept within Togetherland:
Transmedium production is the practice of designing, sharing, and participating in a cohesive reality experience across multiple mediums and technologies – for the integration of social change, entertainment, conscious evolution, and planetary scale cooperation.
We are interested in pioneering, with others, a paradigm that transcends and includes status quo Transmedia. This paradigm, I will be calling Transmedium Production. The reason I add ‘production’ is to allude to the nature of ‘making’ and analogies (related but not limited to) with film, theatre and music in the case of Togetherland which is like those predecessors in many ways as well as different in vast new ways.
Let’s look at a brief compare and contrast set of points for Transmedia and Transmedium:
8 Elements of Transmedia Story Telling
Telling a story
Using a variety of story forms
across multiple media platform
Within a unified storyworld
Encourages audience participation
Embedded game mechanics
A social experienc
Designed for multiple levels of engagement
8 Elements of Transmedium Production
Using a variety of innovations
Across and beyond any and all mediums
Within a holographic storyworld
Audience, Cast, Crew united and unique
Embedded game mechanics
Designed for multiple levels of worldview
With the current and upcoming innovations in biotech, internet tech, governance, education, physics, art, communication, and the infinite varieties of materials and means of doing things across all known disciplines (material, spiritual, psychological, emotional, etc), we are likely to be nearing a singularity event of limitless creativity and possibility.
Governance – means of governing
Economics – means of producing goods
Science – means of studying nature
Business – means of commercial activity
The list goes on endlessly
THE MEDIUM, MATERIALS, TECHNOLOGIES & MESSAGES!
Buckminster Fuller once said:
We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims
This statement by Fuller, this notion, and what it represents is one of the central themes which stands under Togetherland, and Transmedium Production.
With all of the aforementioned in mind, let’s examine this quote from Jane McGonigal, a futurist and gamification pioneer, also a central theme which stands under Togetherland and Transmedium Production:
… we don’t try to predict the future, that’s really hard and not that productive. What we try to do instead is understand the materials of the future because if you understand the materials of the future you can help shape the future, and that’s way more important than trying to predict the future; building a best case scenario future that we believe in and building the world we want to live in, that’s what understanding the future is all about…
With the present planetary wave of integrating ‘science’ and ‘spirit’ and the integration in general across disciplines into a whole systems perspective, we notice that (alluding to but going beyond Transmedia) we can combine not only multiple media forms but also endless forms of materials/mediums (consciousness and subjectivity included). Furthermore on this note, I share the thoughts of Cybershaman Adah Parris (from her Medium article titled Escaping Plato’s Cave) because I believe it is essential to inhabit the point of view she is inviting here, to understand ‘technology’ as a form of medium as well. These things: mediums, materials, technologies… are all deeply intertwined if not essentially pointing at the same phenomena:
A pattern is emerging, one in which many in Western society are looking for a new religion, with various technologies as a means of escaping our current versions of Plato’s Cave. In this current era of The Fourth (or Fifth depending on your perspective) Industrial Revolution, the word technology has become synonymous with digital technology. However, if we examine the etymology of the word;
‘technology’ … originates from “a discourse or treatise on an art or the arts,” from Greek tekhnologia “systematic treatment of an art, craft, or technique,”
… then we can expand our perception of what constitutes a technology.
Some are choosing quantum and digital technologies (computing), plant technologies (psychedelics, plant medicine), metaphysical technologies (sound vibrations, energy fields), theological technologies (religion, faith and belief systems) to explore and understand our own identities, our relationships with our environments and how we relate to and connect with others.
If we choose to accept the above as a truism, then technology is a medium, art, craft or technique that helps us to explore and expand our curiosity, to play, to innovate, to solve problems and to create new stories and realities.
What we are also seeing is that there is a greater merging of the exploration and use of these technologies and their traditionally associated characteristics. For example, emotion, empathy, intuition and consciousness introduced in the quest to see where quantum and digital technologies can (or should) take us. We already have many examples of this merging to tell impactful and stories from different perspectives.
There is a tapestry of collective experience we can now co-create which transcends (and blurs) boundaries like those (for example) between fact and fiction, between reality and imagination, between what is real and illusion. Every single material we use, all the ways we ‘do things’, can be perceived as a medium.
Therefore, to us, this tapestry is a synergy of Mediums and what we have called Transmedium Production.
Our reality is about to undergo a shift that is no less seismic than the discovery of psychotechnologies like literacy and numeracy, and innovations like the harnessing of fire and electromagnetic energy. In fact, the Transmedium Paradigm may be likened to a Revolution and may very well be the end of history and the birth of a new story so magnificent that it is nearly indescribable with words alone.