Time's Up -- Introduction
Goal of Data Ecologies 2014 (DE14) - Why are you all here?
In developing the concept for DE14 Time's Up(TU) invented and hybridised technical terms. In the process TU may have misinterpreted the words used in talking about transmedia narratives and future scenarios. If so, help us to understand them. As a result of DE14 we'd like to steal your ideas (with the best of intentions). Following DE14 a Book Sprint will be held with many of participants from this symposium.
How does Time's Up work fit into the ecology of future discussions?
The future of the revolution of everyday life. Or. The revolution of the future of everyday life.
Historical works of Time's Up.
Early works were a response to early 90s virtuality madness – in some ways a real virtuality.
Early works focussed on physicality, were explorable and invited people to interact at a physical level. Interfaces tried to be intuitive and intriguing, encouraging the audience to interact with the projects. TU identified themselves as facilitators, not necessarily artists. Enjoyed observing audiences interacting with the works.
AUDIENCE - 'roles' Audience was not the appropriate term for people using TU works. TU thinks of them as visitors who are doing things in the spaces.
Environments not as objects, but components that fit together to become a whole world.
invited people to explore an interface that could be controlled by whole body joysticks.
large disc (like playground equipment) triggered media interfaces.
TU created social hardware or glue. Works with 'distraction properties' - moving people away from goal oriented behaviour and more into playful interaction.
giant Karaoke machine.
Giant swings gave adults an excuse to act like children. They were excited and more likely to play and explore.
TU's smaller works were locked together within a greater space of surrounding (designed) environments which gave visitors the opportunity to reflect and discuss the experiences and understandings of the pieces. This additional level of discovery 'did you see that!?' invited visitors to return to the pieces and discover more.
Early works were about building worlds. TU avoided thinking about deeper psychological interactions.
Physical Narratives (PN)
Over time however, TU became more interested in how to include narrative and build stories within the spaces.
A concept stolen from the book Snoop (Gosling) - a visitor is left alone in a space (e.g. an office) and invited to make themselves at home.
- some people may just explore bookshelves.
- Others may politely sit and touch nothing.
- But other visitors will explore deeper and make assumptions from
- connections between other objects - a wine glass, a torn up love letter.
Core aspects of Physical Narratives.
- Needs to be physical - both the space it is located in and the objects for people to explore.
- Needs to be more than a surface, there must be something deeper to discover.
- A level of psychology. The spaces are character based, they have traces of identity and experience that remain.
- Spaces are authored. The components included are specifically chosen to build the story.
- Mechanical - this is not a theatre.
- Narrative - There is a narrative that exists that is independent of the audience. The narratives are present in the space and played out through the space.
A mediated crime – a ghost story built into an old apartment. The 1950s scene contained audio, and visual and physical effects to encourage the feeling of reality. A cupboard would shake (scaring people out of the room). Thunder and lightning effects were convincing enough to make visitors wish they had brought their umbrella - despite the sunny day outside. The space was populated with elements of daily life - old magazines, empty glasses draining added to the world of the story.
Stored in a Bank Vault
Multiple connected rooms presented the story of a bank heist. An initial visit should give an impression of the overall story arc. The smaller details from specific objects add to the story and allow the visitors to bring additional threads into the main story idea. All items included in the space are consciously included to give the story more depth. e.g. an ancient botanical book provides the additional thread that the heist was not for money but for some rare seeds.
20 Seconds Into The Future
Vaguely science fiction. Edges of mathematics. Presented as part of the Long Night of Research where institutions such as R&D labs and universities invite the general public to learn more about research
- In 20 Seconds a 'Scientist' was locked in a neighbouring room stuck in his time machine.
- Story was used as an opportunity to explore additional aspects of research - why are scientists motivated to do this - how do they do research?
- There were always new messages coming into the space: a fax machine, a radio, an email, messages on an answering machine.
- A compact story of 100 years presented in a vintage travel wardrobe.
- 4 generations and family members.
- Visitors invited to look through the drawers and compartments to find out about the characters.
- Video footage could be triggered or an answering machine provided information about interaction between two family members.
- Story was about migration, escape (willing or unwilling), but deeper exploration would provide more detail about individual characters (e.g. love letters).
- A radio had three channels - one of 30s music, another of 30s news stories, another documenting a famous boxing match.
Future Fabulators (FF)
ASIDE : One reason to be involved in physical narratives was to avoid art jail (dark rooms, broken projectors and bad food) as it moved away from media art.
FF developed in collaboration with partner organisations. The goal is to take (and create) models of future scenarios and relate them to everyday life in a way that 'real' people could engage with. These stories a superficial first idea and then the opportunity to dive in further.
Speakers and audience invited here in order see what Time's Up are doing and to see how the PN work they are doing can explore the ideas of future the other speakers are working with.