Knowing with New Media



Essential Ripples

Representing Meaning-making

Stimulus Response

Divergence Convergence

Individual curiosity Conventional wisdom

Self-reflection Collaboration

Natural Digital


Cinematic writing is a circular progression to representing meaning-making. One of the main technological aspects that influences its circularity (as seen by the Ripples approach) is a layered system of production typical to creative software by default.

The 'physical space' in which process takes place is constructed of layers with database elements (images, video and audio fragments, text and animations) placed on them. The elements on each layer can be manipulated independently from other layers. The layers' 'stacking order' results in a unified projection, or what can also be referred to as an 'overtonal montage', as identified by Sergei Eisenstein (1949) in relation to movie frames.

From this point of view, the layered production is an unfolding movie of the developing representation. The database elements, being manipulated on the layers in accordance with the affordances of digital media, act as a stimulus provoking a psychological response in the producer. This, in turn, causes new manipulations of elements and creates a new stimulus. The applied developments and changes manifest themselves in the 'overtonal montage'.

Stimulus response circularity engenders non-linear feedback loop dynamics. This initiates an active ripplework comprised of such circularities as: divergence convergence; individual curiosity conventional wisdom; representing meaning-making; self-reflection collaboration; natural  digital and so on.


Overtonal montage

Unified projection
of Adobe Photoshop layers

Overlapping Adobe Photoshop layers

layer 'pattern'

layer 'bricolage'

layer 'text'

layer 'audible'

layer 'hue'

'This is exactly what we do in the cinema, combining shots that are depictive, single in meaning, neutral in content, into intellectual contexts and series.'

Eisenstein, (1949)



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Sergei Eisenstein


Ed Sikov


Adobe Photoshop layers as presented in the working interface of the software.

Each layer can be selected in separation from others and the database elements on the selected layer can be manipulated independently from others. This can be compared to a dialogue between the elements as the progression happens in a non-linear direction, and in oscillation between the layers in accordance to a stimulus response effect.