Cross-Media Mythology for a Renaissance of Wonder“We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic.”
— E. Merrill Root
In the era of Google-earth, when we know all too well that there are no more undiscovered dinosaur plateaus in South America and no last enchanted forests waiting, still, to be found, we live in a world bereft of wonder. And perhaps more than ever, we’re hungry for the stories that, like Ariadne‘s thread, show us the way out of life’s dark labyrinths.
As a veteran cross-media communications and content strategist, producer, user experience designer, and writer, I’m fascinated with the ways in which artists can use multiple media channels to create a new mythology relevant in the modern age.
Or as the novelist Ian McDonald wrote:“I have this dread that afflicts me… it is that, somehow, we have lost the power to generate new mythologies for a technological age. We are withdrawing into another age’s mythotypes, an age when the issues were so much simpler, clearly defined, and could be solved with one stroke of a sword called something like Durththane. We have created a comfortable, sanitized, pseudo feudal world of trolls and orcs and mages and swords and sorcery, big-breasted women in scanty armour and dungeonmasters; a world where evil is a host of angry goblins threatening to take over Hobbitland and not starvation in the Horn of Africa, child slavery in Filipino sweatshops, Columbian drug squirarchs, unbridled free market forces, secret police, the destruction of the ozone layer, child pornography, snuff videos, the death of the whales, and the desecration of the rain forests. Where is the mythic archetype who will save us from ecological catastrophe, or credit card debt? Where are the Sagas and Eddas of the Great Cities? Where are our Cuchulains and Rolands and Arthurs? Why do we turn back to these simplistic heroes of simplistic days, when black was black and white biological washing-powder white? Where are the Translators who can shape our dreams and dreads, our hopes and fears, into the heroes and villains of the Oil Age?”
Creating New Myths for the Modern AgeI think Ian McDonald is on to something, and I’m committed to creating cross-media stories that make myth alive and relevant in the information age. My contemporary fantasy novel Blackthorne Faire is a statement of the problem. The title story in Raven Wakes the World is about an artist who is mythologizing her own life to heal a wounded heart. My Challengers television pilot is about a search for the last, vanishing wonders. The Widening Gyre is a new myth for today’s world.
I’ll have some news about these and other projects to announce soon. Let me know if you’d like to be notified or follow me on the Twitter!
In this site, you’ll find my own work, and tools that I hope will help you with yours, as an artist, researcher, reader, dreamer, or wanderer. Enjoy. And please drop me a line to let me know what you think.
"Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are artists of one kind or another. The function of the artist is to mythologize the environment and the world."
— Joseph Campbell