Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Examination of “Ironing”

In the digital story “Ironing”, the narrator, Ryan Trauman, created this story in 2004 in Denver, Colorado through the Center for Digital Storytelling. On the one hand, he was inside the material, as he recalled memories of his boyhood. However, he was not only telling his story, but also a story of his parents. He approached this as a close observer, with an emotionally controlled orientation.

Although the story was brief, he explored the impact of the death of his father on his mother, and himself, and then the loss of his mother 25 years later. He investigated his connection to ironing as a coping mechanism. Essentially, he examined the impact of childhood and his family on shaping who he is as an adult.

Ryan employed a variety of elements to create a form consistent with the content he conveyed. The audio elements suited the material he worked with. He used a voice over narration track set against a backdrop of instrumental music. A slow, deliberate, and controlled pace in both the narration and music mimed the movement the viewer would associate with the act of ironing. While the words were sparse, and almost poetic in delivery, they conjured strong sensual imagery, including details of smells, feel, and sounds, which invited the viewer into the story he was building.


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