- Seriality and Transmediality in the Fan Multiverse: Flexible and Multiple Narrative Structures in Fan Fiction, Art, and Vids
- TV Series
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This article explores new forms of serial structure found in transmedia story worlds, with
particular attention to the innovations of amateur transmedia works. Although the term
transmedia has most often been associated only with corporate media at the center, taking
amateur works as the paradigmatic example produces new insights into the affordances of digital
technology, beyond the industry’s limitations, namely how transmedia creativity can function in
the absence of the need to remain marketable, to maintain a coherent brand, and to work within
a corporate family of conglomerated media companies. This study thereby focuses on fan fiction,
art, and "vids", a form of remix video collage, to demonstrate how contemporary amateur production interacts with professional content, but also produces its own type of complex narration through unique forms, aesthetics, and story structures, likewise encouraging alternate reception practices as a result. This article identifies at least three types of transmedial seriality elucidated by studying amateur fan media. First, fan works emphasize the increasingly complex nature of seriality in all transmedia and the way in which serial effects do not vanish, but increasingly depend upon the viewer’s choices. Secondly, fan works create their own kind of flexible and multiple serial effects wherein meaning does not depend on consuming a specific sequence of narratives, but instead upon reading any collection of narratives within larger cycles or tropes to assemble a sense of flowing norms, genres, and preferences. Finally, fan works also uniquely analyze and reconfigure the serial effects of tropes found not only across the transmedia components of individual stories, but also across the breadth of popular culture. By remixing and reimagining repeated structures of representation, fan works often call attention to latent forms of seriality within popular culture as a collective whole.
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