Dialectical Design
Dialectical Design

Conventional Narrative Structure

This familiar diagram represents an elementary introduction to storytelling. Within this basic narrative structure you get the Three Act structure. Where the first act's end is somewhere during the Rising Action phase, the second act can be tricky but generally the climax comes later in the second act followed by some falling action. The third act involves the rest of the falling action and the resolution. This design makes up most of the stories ever told, including those on film. This formula has nothing wrong with it and is perfectly applicable to filmmaking and story telling of any kind. It is a style of storytelling that is very Linear. Stories and their structures, like order and chaos, are varied and diverse.

Purgatopia’s Dialectical Narrative Structure

At first glance this diagram is a clusterfuck. But Purgatopia is a cyclical narrative based on the dialectical perspective of institutionalism. It tells its story through various zig zags and timelines designed to collide images together to form a classical dialectical montage. Now, this is a non linear diagram. It is more of a map that Purgatopia criss crosses through the collective unconscious to constantly showcase the whole diagram. By juxtaposing different images by this standard, and using the dialectical design, the story can seem to get out of hand if it was not for the structure being guided by communication science theories like Coordinated Management of Meaning and Relational Dialectics that use metaphorical content within the film to keep the cognitive part of the brain active while being entertained with satire and subtle individual narratives that weave into the universe that is Purgatopia.

The five notches in the dialectical wheel are in constant cyclical motion throughout the viewing of the film. Praxis is the new beginning of a revolution, the brave new world. Social Construction is the formation of society and its semiotics or indexes, symbols, and icons for which to communicate and create the foundation for structures like tribes. Institutionalization is the implementation of governments and structuralism. Cultural hegemony becomes an output of this as well as the rule of law to preserve it. Contradiction is the inherent effect across all of history where governments start to contradict themselves for better or for worse. It is a natural process. Conflict can come in many forms; information war, physical warfare, terrorism, social movements, activism, political campaigns, political fights, special elections, civil war, ect. These five stages of the cyclic motion of dialectics propose different timelines and take a long time to go through, but they can be applied to however big the projection lens is to find the truth. Hotdamn. It seems like something simple starts out and then as things grow things become more complex, yet only to become simple once again but with hopefully a better reincarnated form of structure than the last.

The two forces that create the spinning motion of the dialectical cycle are the theories of Coordinated Management of Meaning and Relational Dialectics. These communication theories imply that the zig and the zag of human interaction for which social construction relies upon works in concert with sorting out contradictions with understanding that contradictions are relative and they operate on a valence or sliding scale. Purgatopia’s universe addresses what the collective unconscious calls ‘synchronicity’ as an ‘aesthetic moment’ according to relational dialectics. In short, this permits Purgatopia to showcase moments where timelines, characters, and their dealings are aligned and also completely incongruous. These incongruities produce the humor behind the healthy dose of satire Purgatopia has to offer. These incongruities also produce many "montages" in the classical sense versus contemporary perceptions.

One example of a contemporary perception of montage can be found in Robin Hood and The Prince of Thieves with Kevin Costner galvanizing the outlaws of Sherwood Forest and helping them organize against the tyrant Sheriff of Nottingham by building a village and creating soldiers out of the farmers to ensure their social rights or lack thereof. Fantastic scene, but this does not exemplify a constant dialectical structure whereas hypothetically speaking that ‘montage’ would use archetypes as an abrupt catalyst into the future where the outlaw’s ancestors are working seven days a week in a factory under Queen Victoria. Very different than robbing for poor folks there, though any sort of re-editing of Robin Hood and The Prince of Thieves and making all movies adhere to a dialectical structure is asinine and uncalled for. "Montage" simply means the collision of images by Sergei Esienstien standards. Though the term montage has grown moss and as become known as something cheesy, it has lost its actual intention and overall purpose. Many of these actual montage images are polar opposite representations brought together in a new context within the audience’s own semiosphere or collective frame of reference to be represented by language in which they are stimulated to cognitively create meaning! The title itself, though not an image, has dialectical value. Purgatopia is a collision of Purgatory and Utopia; a motivation in which to utilize the dialectical wheel and the collective unconscious to spiral outwards into the heavens, especially in line and in time with an ever expanding universe. Fucking crazy!

The here and now of existence in this decade before the 2020s contains the biggest semiosphere the world has ever had. Our dialectical wheel in real life is violently scraping the notches between contradiction and conflict. The past is only an archive, but one filled with ideas from which the future will always be predicated on; praxis, social construction, institutionalization, contradiction, and conflict. For what it is worth, Purgatopia’s incongruous and metaphorical imagery and 80 percent of the film being close-ups allows the story to be personable and digestible as a story, even without the conventional plot.