Sunday, February 8, 2009

Inanimate Alice Episode 2: Italy,Rachael Folds

The title Inanimate Alice Episode Two: Italy, suggested to me initially that the work would be focussed on a lifeless child living in Italy. Inanimate being lifeless; unable to move and the name Alice suggested that of a female child. I immediately thought of “Alice in Wonderland” and formed an assumption that the work would entail something completely the opposite, a kind of “Antichrist Alice in Wonderland”.

Considering whether reading for fun is any different to research perception wise, I feel it truly depends on what you read in both instances. I actively enjoy reading about technology both on a personal and research level and find it equally interesting.

I had inkling that the work would introduce the use of multimedia, which is a something I have not experienced before in the context of research.

Upon entering the site for the first time, I was still slightly sceptical concerning its content and the first impression I formed was the work, with regards to its genre, was that it was that of a short story or fairy tale .Upon further reflection I considered it to be conclusively a memoir. I did also have some recollection of the authors/creator names especially Kate Pullinger, but could not recollect why.

The first “slides” or pages of the work immediately set a scene of tragedy and are composed of a dark colour scheme, limited but strong text with quite powerful music. The text is minimal and this assisted in the disturbed feeling and upset of the child losing her parents.

I have included a screenshot of one of the earlier slides, as I feel this demonstrates the scene of tragedy. This feeling of loss is one that I believe, all of us have felt at sometime or another when a situation has not occurred when or how we had envisioned it.

I believe that the music/imagery helped to set this aspect of the scene but became tedious and annoying further into the work.

I felt that the work seemed to jump very dramatically from one theme to another which appeared initially to be unrelated, which made its understanding quite difficult. Upon further reflection, was this done to emulate the roller coaster of emotions felt by Alice?

The work itself , did I feel, immerse you into the current events on screen so much so that I tended to forget what had previously occurred and it then became fragmented and confused.

There appeared to be three main themes in the work

1. Tragedy

2. Terror

3. Questioning

Alice questions herself and situation, which I feel help to immersive the reader into the situation.

The aspect of the work that most surprised me was the description of her tutor when she removed her niqab “she is like a wonderful bird all bright colours and flashing jewellery”. What relevance does this have to her losing her parents and why gaudy imagery of a bird with Arabic music and the increasingly annoying mobile phone noises?

This part of the work as well as the Saudi compound element, did not in my opinion serve any purpose to the story. Inanimate Alice Episode Two: Italy suggested that the story was based in Italy not Saudi.

Chisholm’s Third Law of Human Interaction. Purposes as understood by the purposer will be misunderstood by others.


Jess said...

Interesting pre-reading interpretation Rachael, that Alice would be "life-le

You didn't mention anything about the game Alice made on her player - the bicycle matching game. Did you play it? How did that help establish Alice's character?

Thinking about my response to Maxine's interpretation of Reiner Stasser where I mention a postmodern idea of you think Alice, while on holiday in Italy, ends up talking a lot about Saudi, her home, because she is nostalgic for it?

You've noticed the annoying mobile 'phone noises! Yes. That is actually part of the story. If you read a bit on the Inanimate Alice website you'll see that the BradField Company (which produces IA) also makes some interesting equipment which detects emmissions from electronic equipment...

But, in life, we hear this sound when our mobile 'phones are too close to computers (for example) and there is interference. Perhaps there is interference for Alice?

rachaelfolds said...

I found the puzzle game a little hard to understand – yes, she enjoys puzzles but what relevance apart from establishing that she is a young adult. Maybe that’s was the purpose of the puzzle game.
Perhaps the mention of Saudi is nostalgic, but whilst on holiday, do you think of home? I certainly do not.
If she was thinking of home because she found herself worried/unsure of her current situation, she may try and console herself by reminiscing of home. However, these memories of home do not appear to be happy ones- so this is where my confusion lies with this particular aspect of the work.
There is definitely a theme emerging with my interpretations – if it serves no purpose- don’t include it – ha ha. Must be the scientific/analytical mindset coming to the fore!!