From 13th to 15th October, the Swedish city of Växjö hosted the Transmediations! Communication across Media Borders conference at the Linnaeus University Centre for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies.
This meeting dealt with multimodality and transmediality from multiple points of view, ranging from media and film studies to philosophy, the visual arts, linguistics, semiotics and social sciences. The keynote presentations focused on three main areas in the field. The conference started with Mary Laure Ryan’s lecture on the development of the transmedia storytelling concept and its discourses. João Queiroz suggested observing transmediation not only as a resource, but also as a thinking tool, and offered artistic applications as examples, especially in painting and contemporary dance. In the final keynote, Gunther Kress gave an updated view on social semiotics and multimodality, focusing on the different layers of meaning in everyday objects and situations.
I was there to present the UVic-UCC contribution at this conference. I spoke about translation and its connections with transmedia and multimodality, and attempted to raise awareness of the challenges in translation of audiovisual texts involving transmedia storytelling. I suggested a semiotic and multimodal focus on audiovisual texts, analysing them through the film studies concept of signifying codes so as to shed light on the layers of content and meaning. My findings confirm the essential role of visual content in conveying meaning in audiovisual texts, notably through photography (types of shot and camera use), iconography, mobility (body movement) and graphic verbal captions, alongside acoustic channel codes such as the linguistic and paralinguistic (tone of voice). The active role of all these layers is essential to understanding the connections between texts in a transmedia storytelling project and they need to be taken into account in decisions made by the audiovisual translator facing this sort of challenge.
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