Inconsequential Moments

This story stuck out to me because it was less narrative and more reflective than any of the other DST samples I found in my first exploration through the genre.  Like many other digital stories I’ve seen, this is basically composed of photos and voiceover, but the almost abstract photos and dead-serious voice tone immediately told me that I was seeing something more cerebral than the  other DST clips I had been finding.

Okay, maybe this story is a little pretentious.  The meaning is not immediately apparent, and took me several views to understand.  The narration is essentially a story about thinking you understand something that appears on the wall – a footprint left by someone relaxing against it – but not really understanding its true meaning until later.  At least, that is my interpretation.  I’m not sure how exactly the lessons of Inconsequential Moments extends to my life, because the tale is simultaneously dense and sparse.  In any case, I just enjoy the fact that Burns cared to record a few thoughts – the thoughts that come out of being in a certain place in a certain time and reading and seeing certain things.

Technically, I also really like the way that the film is assembled.  Beginning at the credits, I like the layout of title and author and the chosen font.  The fade-in and fade-out of each photo give the piece a sense of symmetry.  In the last few seconds, the pace of this fading is increased to create a sense of accelerating tension.  But that soon ceases at a quickly arrived-at climax.  The story is over in about 100 seconds – quite economic.  My main technical complaint is that the voiceover volume level dips about 2/3 of the way through.  This makes it especially difficult for the viewer, who is busy making sense of the story without having to turn up the volume or rewind.

Inconsequential Moments

Category: W2: Digital Story
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6 Responses
  1. jlapple says:

    I agree with your comment regarding the visual presentation of the abstract photos and how they fade in and out and mix with one another. It gives the piece a profound depth that mixes with the simplicity of the “voices on the walls.” This message of simplicity struck me from the perspective that inspiration is all around us, if we care to look for it, notice it, and think about it. It seems to echo the realm of digital storytelling as a whole, in that every person, every place, every “wall” has a story to tell and that we continue to blend in and out of one another’s lives, unknowingly, as did the images in this visual story.

  2. gcheong says:

    I agree with your feeling that this seems a bit pretentious in its abstractness. Viewing with a skeptical eye, I would argue that not everyone notices marks on the wall or attempts to interpret graffiti as more than trash. The story also obscures the argument about interpreting history through marks left behind by humans on semi-permanent structures (which is what I got out of it). This seems like a very narrow view focused on the local past and community in a place. Does the narrator appreciate knowing the meaning of the footprint? What does she feel, other than a rather detached and intellectual sense of curiosity? I’m don’t think that this video would reach out and touch the masses. :P

  3. cjames says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with experiencing or sharing detached, intellectual curiosity. This story doesn’t have to reach out and touch the masses, either. I still enjoy the film overall.

    I find the presentation to be somewhat pretentious, though. There could be a bit more exposition and explanation of the greater message. Perhaps it’s too economic – there could be another line or, like you said, explanation of how it felt to experience this revelation.

  4. Andrea Odiorne says:

    After watching a number of these, are the ‘gotcha moments’ seeming a little forced to anyone else?

  5. cjames says:

    A little bit. If you study anything – especially amateur works like these – you can see the nuts and bolts of the work.

    Actually, I think this piece inverts the outline a little bit by stating the ‘takeaway’ or ‘conclusion’ part first, and ending somewhat abruptly.

  6. jgiampa says:

    “There are quiet messages left for us in the most unlikely places”. This oh so profound statement opens the dialogue for this seemingly artistic portrayal of wall art in Mexico. Each photograph is complete in its form and message and in itself could be a work of art. However, the parts that equal the final culmination of “shoe slamming cockroach” is such a let down. What is the message for this digital story. I can only fathom that it is to trick the viewer into thinking there is a deeper meaning and then a quick slap in the face at the end brings us back to where we started. The ending could of been less articulated and perhaps more metaphorical in the sense that the footprints were left behind in some mysterious way. Maybe the footprints were there because the author did not have pen in hand. The footprint was simply an imprint in time that marked that persons stay in that particular room. But the cockroach demeans and disturbs the sequence of events leading up to the end.