Beyond Dominance, Mixture, and Hybridity. On the Challenges of Hypercomplex Objects

Keywords: Play, Hermeneutics, Posthumanism, Affect Theory, Electronic Literature, Comic Studies, Game Studies


Through the analysis of several hypercomplex objects – Mike Gross and Peter Carey’s The Unwritten (2010) and Inkle’s 80 Days (2014), as well as Doogie Horner’s Die Hard: The Authorised Colouring and Activity Book (2016) and Chuck Palahniuk’s Legacy (2017) – the article demonstrates the challenges intermedial studies of texts without conventional profiles face. The argument presented here is that a careful hermeneutic analysis is needed to overcome these obstacles, despite the universal applicability of some media studies concept and a recent opposition against hermeneutics from posthumanist theories. The analysis of the examples unearths their aesthetics of hypercomplexity and argues for why facile categorizations of them would be detrimental to their interpretation. The conclusion suggests to draw more strongly on play within the intermedial discourse, both as a verb denoting autotelic activity and as a noun denoting inevitable or necessary imprecision, in order to engage with the intricacies of such examples.


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Author Biography

Hans-Joachim Backe, IT University of Copenhagen
Department of Digital Design, Associate Professor


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How to Cite
Backe, H.-J. (2020). Beyond Dominance, Mixture, and Hybridity. On the Challenges of Hypercomplex Objects. Between, 10(20), 1-26.