I am interested in personal geographies and mapping emotions as a form of alternative story telling. For my first paper prototype, I would like to use a simple paper map with a series of color coded tabs or post its so that a user can quickly map their feelings while at a location throughout the day.
I would like to add a weekly calendar at the top of the map, so users can note how they feel when they start their day before navigating the city. I think it would be an important reference point when looking at the emotional mapping from each day to truly see how location impacts a persons overall feelings.
When I was 16 or 17 I saw an installation called Corpus by Ann Hamilton at Mass MoCa. It involved a series of devices that dropped sheets of paper from the ceiling as well as speakers that were raised and lowered by a cable each played back audio from singular sources. It impacted me greatly, although at the time I couldn’t put into words what drew me to the work other than I thought it was cool.
After thinking a lot about what “immersive” means I finally realized that I was pulled into the piece because of its immersive nature. The installation used sound, visuals, and necessitated that the viewer navigate the space to engage with the installation. It was impossible to have experience the piece from one vantage point, as a viewer I had to walk around the entire site to appreciate the installation. And while I spent time navigating the space I saw time pass as sheets of paper accumulated on the floor.
You can read more about this piece on Ann Hamilton’s website here, although I don’t think any kind of documentation does the experience justice.
For my prototype for The Point, I would like to create an interactive experience where a player/user creates their senses from nothing.
The user would start with a completely dark, mute world. By searching around this space the user might find eyes or ears or other symbols of the senses that would allow them to build their view of the world. For example, up until I found a pair of eyes, I would only see darkness, but when I found eyes, suddenly a small room/world would appear and depending on what eyes I had found, the room/world would be different. Depending on what ears I stumbled on and chose to pick up, I would hear this things in this world differently also. There would be some task that the user would have to achieve (maybe escape the room?) and that task and their understanding of how to achieve it would change depending on the eyes and ears they’ve “chosen.” Not sure how taste or touch could be incorporated, but that would be interesting also.
I want to use this to explore how the senses and perspective that we are given through genetics and circumstance affect our understanding of and ability to navigate in the world.
I am broadly interested in the idea of blind spots, the assumptions and biases that we unconsciously carry into our everyday lives and interactions, and more specifically interested in how these intersect with issues of gender and race. I am interested in exploring how we attribute moral virtue to certain people in order to balance one life against another and the way that our moral calculations and blind spots might factor into who gets the benefit of the doubt.
For my paper prototype, I would like to create BANG BANG, a narrative exploration/game about split second decisions made by law enforcement officers and suspects/citizens. So far, I’ve started working on this “paper” prototype – http://jochin.itch.io/bang-bang – which might serve as a foundation for further prototyping.
Currently, this first narrative is from the police officer perspective, but I’m interested in examining the scene and consequences of confrontation between police and suspects from multiple perspectives (primary suspect, onlookers, police officer). I would like to base the scenario(s) on real life cases and incorporate actual statistics about shooting and outcomes in cases like these. I am interested in using this platform to collect further data about user choices and the amount of decision-making time to see if they point to anything interesting about our biases regarding race, gender, age, etc.
PRECEDENTS + RESEARCH:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, Mahzarin R. Banaji Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
I would like to continue working the how gender roles and society. I am interested in small ways (behavior, speech, expectations) through which gender roles are constructed in society. In order to create the means to see through another person’s eyes, I want users to experience the feeling of being told by society what their gender expect from them. I want to to through this audio. Perhaps record various gender-defining quotes uttered to them by someone in society and create an interactive audio experience.
I am interested in exploring how gender roles are perpetuated in society. I came across this article on The Guardian a while ago, “All men beat their wives, and one day you will do the same, it’s what men do to be manly“. The article talks about Jagriti Youth, a workshop on gender equality. Although I read this article ages ago, it struck a big chord with me because of the different approach the workshop takes towards gender inequality. The workshop doesn’t try perpetuate a them vs us problem (men vs females).. describing boys as wicked perpetrators and girls as victims. The workshop questions how to break this gross generalisation. They empower girls, but also work to change male attitudes and behaviors. “What use,” says Amit Kumar, a youth leader, “if you keep blaming boys for all the problems and do not train us to think differently?”
Gender is one of the defining social constructs of most (perhaps all?) human civilizations. A large body of research has concluded that rather than difference between sexes being innate, they are socially learned. I do not think gender roles are wrong, but the problem with it is when they cross the line to become oppressive. I am interested in small ways (behavior, speech, expectations) through which gender roles are constructed in society. One quick example: a frequent phrase we use is “Man up”. It implies that a man showing fear, vulnerability, hesitation, anxiety (in other words, weakness) is being unmanly and that showing weakness is feminine.
For my first prototype, I would like to gather examples of how gender roles are perpetuated, both males and females, through things they were told by parents/friends/peers/boyfriends/girlfriends/neighbours/media or really any medium. Although I could just find stuff on the interwebs, I would like to gather qualitative data by just asking people.
Historically the most classic technology for creating immersive experiences was in the form of words, with both oral and written stories. Good writers are able to take the reader and transport them into another world, and many times into the mind and eyes of a character. The question is how do they do it? Shifting someone’s perception or making someone see from another person’s eyes is like the art of persuasion. Aristotle says in the Art of Rhetoric, that the means of persuasion divide into three categories: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Perhaps making the user/audience understand a person’s logic, emotions, and doing it in a way that seems credible or convincing is all you really need. An immersive experience in my eyes is one that successfully persuades the user/audience because for a second it takes you out of the world you know and pulls you into seeing or understanding a different point of view.
I think a work of art that truly accomplished changing perceptions and points of views through an immersive experience is the Argentine play Tercer Cuerpo. In this play, although the characters are always on stage together and the set of an office space never changes, through the art of acting each seemingly disconnected character makes you believe that they are in a different space and in their own lives. In one physical setting the piece plays with the imagination of the audience and immerses you into each character’s different lives and painful situations they are grappling with whether it be a divorce, or old age, or an abortion. Here is a link to some clips and description of the piece (in spanish):
Some subjects I think are interesting for this project are exploring the different points of view between: an Israeli and Palestinian, a child and an adult, an autistic person and mentally abled person, as well as the police and community members.
Some brainstorming ideas:
– A collaborative book, you write a stories together and add/erase different parts to tell the story how it was to you. Then you can go back and see the different edits and which person made what.
– an interactive narrative (fictional based on true story) of two opposite characters, but the audience can click parts in realtime and see evidence of countless examples of the same situation that happened in real life.
– a platform to share aspects of the life of “the other”
– a game in which you can switch from character to character and in each you experience a different home, work, routine etc.
– museum of humanity – click any part of the world and see videos from that place in 360 degrees, hear music, see art, smell food. sort of like a google maps that gives you more.
To me, an immersive experience is when the user is able to get into a world that transcends point-and-click interaction. Kind of low standards, I guess.
Step into the Page by The Future of Storytelling
Glen Keane is an animator at Disney studios, and in this video he demos illustrating characters in 360 degrees with the help of an oculus. “When I animate there’s a frustration I have, wishing that the flatness of the paper would go away and that I could actually dive in,” says Keane. “Today all the rules have changed. By putting tools in your hand that can create in virtual reality, I can put goggles on and I just step into the paper, and now I’m drawing in it.”
Compliment By Lucy Bonner
Compliment is an immersive experience of street harassment designed and created for the Oculus Rift. It demonstrates the fact that harassment creates an atmosphere of intimidation and tension for women on a daily basis, that it is not ok, and that it is not a compliment. Compliment conveys the forceful intrusion and violation of space and attention that makes a woman feel vulnerable, angry, and silenced in order to raise awareness and effect change
Welcome to Collab: Immersive Narrative PSAM 5550A. This course will create prototypes with a Bronx based arts organization called The Point, with the goal of using immersive media and storytelling techniques to shift perspective and facilitate conflict resolution.
Please note that there will be no class for the following two Mondays due to Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah, so after the introductory class on August 31st, we’ll meet back up on Monday September 21st, to discuss initial perception prototypes.