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if ( ) then ( ) else ( ) as a video piece was submitted as part of a thesis project for the M. Phil in Music and Media Technologies, Trinity College Dublin in 2006. The title of the accompanying dissertation was 'The Digital Filmmaker and Realism', an examination of technologically influenced aesthetics in contemporary film. Since its completion in June 2006
if ( ) then ( ) else ( ) has been nominated for the Europrix TTA Multimedia Award and has also been shortlisted for Best International and Best Irish Short at the Cork Film Festival.

The starting point for the script of if ( ) then ( ) else ( ) was a desire to use moving-image aesthetics that have become familiar in contemporary society as a direct result of technological developments. For instance the home-video aesthetic (as used naturalistically in Dogme 95 cinema) is recognizable to audiences because of the familiarity of 'amateur' style recordings made possible by relatively inexpensive DV equipment now widely available. Similarly, developments in computer technology have made the computer a ubiquitous modern day portal through which moving-image works of all kinds are experienced. Thus the computer aesthetic is also familiar to users worldwide.if ( ) then ( ) else ( ) uses both of these aesthetics; moving image and computer.

The idea behind using the computer aesthetic was to evoke a sense of realism on screen in the Brechtian sense, i.e. as part of a self-reflexive dramatic style featuring a presentational mode of address. The computer aesthetic was the perfect vehicle for this because of the way the computer user interacts with the GUI, oscillating between work and leisure pursuits. In doing so the user is acting in a manner analogous to a Brechtian spectator who must ideally oscillate between an engagement with, and a critical removal from, a dramatic presentation.

The Brechtian style approach of the computer aesthetic is in contrast to the naturalistic style of the home-video aesthetic. The familiarity of 'the look and feel of 'amateur' video recordings have made this aesthetic quite desirable for many filmmakers, most notably the Dogme 95 directors. The deliberately poor quality of both footage and camera operation is designed to convince the audience of the 'reality' of the events depicted, i.e. that the events are naturally occurring in front of a camera and thus naturalistic. if ( ) then ( ) else ( ) puts these naturalistic and Brechtian styles of presentation into conflict using technologically influenced aesthetics.