An advanced streaming technology creates a pleasant user experience: the project is playing right away, running on any common internet browser (on either macintosh or windows pc) without the hassle of having to download an 'engine' or any other plug-in or application. It allows a surprisingly excellent image quality – still streaming real-time.
I spent some time with the online version which runs very well! Excellent work! I think this may be the first database cinema project, which works online. Was the immediate reaction of Lev Manovich, author of The Language of New Media.
However, this new technology means more than just the possibility to directly address wide audiences easily and on a minimal budget, there are at least two more aspects worth considering:
1. The Korsakow Engine (an application needed to view a Korsakow Project) of the classic Korsakow System is replaced by any common web browser. Therefore the author does not have to worry about the user's operating system, creating different versions for mac or windows. Also the backend of the project – the technical structure as well as the single files – is now hidden from the user.
2. Any Korsakow Project published online is (potentially) non-static. Of course, a classic Korsakow Project creates a non-linear and interactive experience in which the user may also be able to change the order of the material. The project itself however, is a static piece of work. As soon as it is published online, it has the capabilities to grow – SNUs (Smallest Narrative Units = pieces of material) can be added, removed, altered and replaced; even the rules of the system (Keywords) may be changed by the author.
This might be of interest especially for documentary makers observing an ongoing process or groups of artists working on one project. But even if the author does not make use of this possibility – the implicit openness of an online system affects the role of the user: The user of an interactive CD-Rom knows that (s)he is dealing with an application offering a limited range of preprogrammed reactions to his/her actions – an online application is a public sphere, thus implying the possibility of the involvement of an author or other users; the Human-Computer-Interface might also be a Human-Computer-Human-Interface.
Public release of the online feature, which can also be applied to existing projects, is scheduled for early 2004.