MEDIA / a proposal  


(a proposal for an interactive production - never realized


This is a proposal for a project that never got funded. Even so I still find it valuable to present - as an artistic / mediated projected that uses uptodate multimedia theory and technology.

a project description

The goal of the project is to create an interactive DVD-ROM, based on video sequences, music and images from the performance jesus_c_odd.size, by the Danish group HOTEL PRO FORMA. With this production we aim to transform a site-specific performance into a multi-medial experience, that can be seen anywhere in the world.

The creative and artistic idea of the DVD-production is based on the specific qualities that HOTEL PRO FORMA use in their performances. They work with strong visual/emotional material, build staged images with different artistic elements, motion-acting-sound-light. The experience av jesus_c_odd.size is more emotional than intellectual, more like participating in a motion picture than a stage-theatre.

Our goal is to create an experience that is rich in visual and emotional content. To do this we need to research and explore the special forms of storytelling that new media technologies have enabled, from both a narrative and technological perspective.

Narrative -
The jesus_c_odd.size performance is not a traditional, linear narrative. Instead the artistic idea is to create – "A number of sculptural acts can be experienced as a non-linear sequence of 24 acts, can be experienced by a small or big audience at the same time. The sequence has its own logic, neither visible nor significant in relation to the audience…"

The narrative form of this performance is open, our ambition is to apply the same open form of meetings between people and their stories, to the world of digital multimedia. To experience the DVD-ROM, should be similar to creating ones own story, based on the people and stories the filmed material contains. As Umberto Eco has pointed out in "The Open Work" an "open work" is a work in movement, with no single prescribed point of view - "The image the open work gives is one of discontinuity. It offers a transcendental scheme that allows the participant to comprehend new aspects of the world."

Ecos thought is based on research of how the traditional oral storytelling works, we would like to investigate the possibilities of a similar approach using film/performance material. Since film by nature is a liniear form of organizing images in sequences, the "openess" will depend on multiple ways of combining and viewing the performance. The same act or scene could be filmed in several ways i.e. close up, subjective view and likewise edited in several ways. The same act or scene can be linked to different acts, in different orders, thereby creating even more possible ways of exploring and understanding the content of the performance.

The old idea of an possible "objective" viewpoint in film is in another aspect of the theories of storytelling that could be useful to explore. For even if we take the obvius stance that objectivity in the filmed narrative is an impossibility, Jean Baudillard offers another approach to the realization that nothing captured by the cameras lens is ever an objective image. In an essay called "photography, or the writing of light" he writes - "Technique becomes an opportunity for a double play: it amplifies the concept of illusion and the visual forms. A complicity between the technical device and the world is established. The power of objects and of "objective" techniques converge. The photographic act consists of entering this space of intimate complicity, not to master it, but to play along with it and to demonstrate that nothing has been decided yet…"

Baudillard refers to still images and speaks mainly about photographic images, but his thoughts is applicable also on the moving image as he claims - "The idea is to resist noise, speech, rumors by mobilizing photography's silence; to resist movements, flows, and speed by using its immobility; to resist the explosion of communication and information by brandishing its secrecy; and to resist the moral imperative of meaning by deploying its absence of signification."

Technological -
With the multimedia production jesus_goes_dvd, we wish to create a visual, multifaceted and video-based DVD-ROM, that uses different interactive elements than the traditional point and click CD-ROM or DVD-ROM production.

We want to develop an interface that utilizes other methods than text-based and intellectual choices – an interface that, instead, is based on emotional choices and that uses colour and/or music/sound as a main factor.

We believe that research and experience from the field of on-line digital meeting places, such as MUDs and MOOs, and other forms of interactive storytelling, such as video games, could give us views to explore. Thoughts such as - "Do you have an urge to be Jesus? Or maybe Judas?" - could be useful to explore in a technological sense. Is it possible to place one self in the position of a filmed caracter? To immerse in the performer and the events / thoughts / emotions so completely that the technological barrier between the computer screen and your self no longer exists?

A scenario we wish to explore in the development phase of the DVD-production is that the user should be able to "travel" through the performance in different ways every time jesus_goes_dvd is started, by for example exploring the love-route or the hate-route.

Another possible scenario is to let a random number generator navigate the journey through the performance, i.e. to let the technology navigate the narrative development through randomly chosen video sequences.

Context -
By transforming a performance into a multimedia work, we also need to consider the implications of using a media that is so linked to games and entertainment aestethics. Users of multimedia are accustumed to being challenged with a "quest" or a "mission", jesus_goes_dvd is nothing like that. Rather the significant act or adventure takes place inside your self, the user, as you are exposed to the images and events in jesus_c._odd_size.

As HOTEL PRO FORMA writes in their presentation of the performance - "The Jesus figure appears as several different characters, as many different acts, as the flesh and the blood, as the wound and the skin, as the word and the speech. But always hidden or disguised in the most visible, the most concrete. There is the secret, it is right there."

Jonathan Griffiths / Thore Soneson
creative producers - KP99 / K3 MALMO UNIVERSITY


Detta är ett förslag på ett projekt som vi inte lyckades finansiera. Trots detta ser jag det fortfarande som ett konstnärligt intressant projekt som utforskar multimedia teoretiskt och teknologiskt-

en projektbeskrivning

Projektets mål är att skapa en interaktiv DVD-rom som är baserad på videosekvenser, musik och bilder ur performance-föreställningen jesus_c_odd.size av den danska gruppen HOTEL PRO FORMA. Med denna produktion förvandlar vi en site-specific performance till en multimedial upplevelse som kan ses över hela världen.

Den kreativa/konstnärliga idén med DVD-produktionen bygger på de specifika kvaliteter HOTEL PRO FORMA använder i sina performance-föreställningar. De använder ett visuellt/emotionellt material, bygger upp iscensatta bilder med olika konstnärliga element, rörelse-skådespel-ljud-ljus. Upplevelsen av jesus_c_odd.size är mer känslomässig än intellektuell, mer som att ta del av en spelfilm än en scenteater.

Vår målsättning är att skapa en upplevelse som är rik på visuellt och känslomässigt innehåll. För att göra detta behöver vi undersöka och forska kring de speciella berättarformer som den nya mediateknologin har skapat, ur både narrativ och teknologisk aspekt.

Narrativt -
Föreställningen jesus_c_odd.size är ingen traditionell linjär berättelse. Istället är den konstnärliga idén att skapa - "En rad skulpturala handlingar som kan upplevas som ett icke-linjärt förlopp av 24 scener, kan upplevas av få eller många åskådare på en gång. Förloppet innehåller sin egen logik, osynlig för publiken."

Den narrativa formen i denna performance är öppen, vår ambition är att samma öppna form av möten med människor och deras berättelser skall kunna överföras till det multimediala mediat. Att uppleva DVDn skall vara som att skapa sin egen berättelse utifrån de människor och berättelser som det filmade materialet innehåller.

Teknologiskt -
Med multimediaproduktionen jesus_goes_dvd har vi som målsättning att skapa en visuellt mångfacetterad/videobaserad DVD som arbetar med andra interaktiva element än den traditionella klicka/välj baserade CD eller DVD-rom produktionen.

Vi vill utveckla ett gränssnitt som opererar med andra metoder än de textbaserade och intellektuella valen - ett gränssnitt som istället baserar sig på känslomässiga val och som använder färg och/eller musik/ljud som utgångspunkt. Här tänker vi oss att forskning och erfarenheter från digitala mötesplatser på nätet - MUDs - och andra sätt att interagera via datorn som tex dataspelens dramaturgi, kan ge oss infallsvinklar att undersöka.

Ett scenario vi vill undersöka i utvecklingsfasen av DVD-produktionen är att användaren skall kunna "resa" genom föreställningen på olika sätt varje gång jesus_goes_dvd startar - t.ex. undersöka kärleks-vägen eller hat-vägen.

Ett annat scenario är att lämna över valen till en slumpgenerator som styr resan genom föreställningen, att få teknologin att styra berättelsens utveckling genom slumpmässigt valda videosekvenser.

Thore Sonesson
Jonathan Griffiths
KP99 – K3, Malmö Högskola

2000 05 29

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