The truth is… I have no idea what Digital Alchemy is. To my understanding alchemy is some sort of medieval form of chemistry. Was it only about turning lead into gold?
Maybe this can sum it up?
Probably not. It might have just been about this notion of transmutation where one thing is turned into another, but as far as I know, that could be anything. William H. Gass once said:
“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”
I’d love to change the world into words. I am writer for that specific purpose, but can an alchemist, then, be someone who can transform a house into a home? A person who can find the light in harrowing situations and circumstances and turn things around and into something else? I don’t think there has to be a set definition because every individual is unique and will interpret digital alchemy in their own special way, so I find it to be highly subjective. What I will say that I know to be true is that the internet in this born-digital age is a very powerful tool. A single image has greater communication skills than I do at times, but if it is coupled with a clip of audio to compliment its meaning then it can take your breath away. Suddenly, it can be incorporated into a slideshow or video in more ways than one to add depth in the way one can have it move or shift around a screen. Altering things like brightness, saturation, and filters bring life to the still.
We are all digital alchemists in one way or another, even if one is not particularly “tech savvy”. After I came to this conclusion, I asked myself if that then means a digital alchemist is much like a storyteller. You know what? I think they are in a lot of ways. One can tell a story with words alone, or even pictures by themselves. Imagine storytelling with images, audio, video, effects etc.? Storytelling to me is just sharing. It is expression. I immediately think of Native Americans and how their lives incorporate the telling of stories… it is a part of their culture. A story can be exaggerated or embellished; it doesn’t have to be linear if one doesn’t want it to be, and it can be purely for entertainment purposes instead of an educational activity. So, there are a lot of ways to interpret these two concepts, and many more explanations regarding how they can connect in a greater understanding of what Digital Alchemy is in general. I think I might just quit trying to make up my own explanation and just wait to see how this semester unfolds. I am excited and who knows… maybe I’ll tell a story about it when it’s all said and done.