Monday, August 27, 2012

Modern Mythology and the Transmedia Revolution


In Search of Myth and Meaning...

"The point of mythology or myth is to point to the horizon and to point back to ourselves: This is who we are; this is where we came from; and this is where we're going. And a lot of Western society over the last hundred years - the last 50 years really - has lost that. We have become rather aimless and wandering."

The Power of Myth was one of the most popular TV series in the history of public television.  In a series of six hour-long episodes, American mythologist Joseph Campbell peeled back the layers of mystery that had once shrouded our species ancient storytelling traditions.

Campbell blew away the accumulated funk of centuries of traditional academic inquiry, and connected the dots between mythic traditions that had once been separated by hundreds of miles, and thousands of years.  He postulated that there was a single mythic narrative, a monomyth that had been translated into many different languages, and disguised in the symbols of many different cultures--but one that essentially shared the same structure and sequence of events.

The Monomyth or "Hero's Journey" (Infographic Via The Royal Society of Account Planning)

Finding Joe

“Nothing will see us through the age we're entering but high consciousness, and that comes hard. We don't have a good, modern myth yet, and we need one.”


Follow Your Bliss - Joseph Campbell from Christoph on Vimeo.

Many believe that myths are just the bleached bones of long forgotten religions; quaint stories for children, or fodder for college literature classes.  But not Joseph Campbell.  He believed that hidden inside these ancient stories, an essential truth was waiting to be discovered.  A road map for life, filled with symbols instead of street names.  It was a path he called, "The Hero's Journey."

This October will mark the 25th anniversary of Campbell's death at 83.  It's a fitting occasion to watch Finding Joe: a documentary that explores Campbell's studies, and their continuing impact on our culture.

Finding Joe - Trailer V.7 from pat solomon on Vimeo.

In Search of a Modern Mythology

"Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response."
Brian Peck (the curator of the Icons of Science Fiction exhibit at the EMP museum in Seattle, WA) explains the impact that science fiction has had on our culture, our past, and how it is already reshaping our future: as a modern mythology.


Storytelling isn’t an irrelevant pastime in today’s high-speed digital society—in fact, it may be the key to our species’ continued survival.

Scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, and even major world governments are continuing to investigate our species dependence on stories (from telling them, to hearing them).

The Transmedia Revolution

“I believe in mythology. I guess I share Joseph Campbell's notion that a culture or society without mythology would die, and we're close to that.”

Transmedia expert, Peter Von Stackelberg shares some insights into future of storytelling, and the changing methods of audiance engagement:

(Here is a link to the thesis he mentions.)

Read my posts below and learn more about transmedia.  Discover why this unique melding of technology and creativity might just be modern mythologies future.  Discover the curious relationship between telling stories, and staying healthy.  And learn about continuing research into why humanity evolved into a storytelling species in the first place.

Mythos Media

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