Narratives of Enfoldment: Multi-linear and Parafictional Storytelling in Media Art

  • Fuad Halwani Lusófona University


Narratives have been witnessing a state of enfoldment within the virtual world(s) since the proliferation of transmedia story worlds and new media art works. The aesthetics of enfoldment are discussed by Laura U. Marks within different trends in media art. She follows a genealogy of media art that has its roots in premodern Islamic concepts. Enfoldment is therefore situated as the broad framework of this paper’s discussion. Since the prevalence of the concept of transmedia storytelling, coined by Henry Jenkins in 2007, different franchises (be it in entertainment and others) have adopted certain narrative tropes to create a transmedia presence or universe. One of these tropes is the usage of multi-linear storytelling. Multi-linearity is one of the forms narrative storytelling that liberates a story from its temporal structure, making the consumption of narrative open to the end user. Parafiction, on the other hand, denotes instances when the lines between fact and fiction become blurry creating contemporary artworks where story worlds are essential for the dissemination of the works themselves. According to Lambert-beaty (2009) “the slew of recent writings trying to describe or explain this condition ranges from philosophical explorations of ‘the ethics of the lie’, to moralist warnings about our entry into ‘the post-truth era’” (Lambert-beatty, 2009). The following article aims at disseminating past scholarship on multi-linear and parafictional storytelling in trans and new media art in an attempt at shaping the theoretical framework of my doctoral thesis project; a podcast series intended for online dissemination that features conversations between a fictional character and non-fictional historical figures.