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The locative narrative The Lost Index: NATMUS  was featured at 8th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling in Copenhagen.

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The Lost Index: NATMUS, photo James Brocklehurst

Audio guides and games have long been staple modes of interpretation in museums. The medium of locative narrative, defined here as participatory site-specific story experiences that are heard on headphones, offers alternative modes of engagement with archives and collections where the visitor becomes a participant in an unfolding drama. The confluence of the existent world and narrative representations is an often-reported feature of “mixed reality” [1] experiences [2] [3] [4].

The Lost Index: NATMUS (2015-) [5], produced by Trulyimagined, aka Emma Whittaker and James Brocklehurst, is an interactive narrative that transforms the location of a museum into a dystopian story world. Situated at The National Museum of Denmark and the DieselHouse museum it explores how participants can experience the story across spatially distributed locations.

The Lost Index: NATMUS Copenhagen photo James Brocklehurst

The Lost Index: NATMUS Copenhagen photo James Brocklehurst

Your phone rings, “You have been selected… your help is required … time is running out…” Searching for objects from the lost index holds the key to stabilising the changes. In response to their actions participants receive phone calls – fragmentary updates from which possible stories build. But as time runs out the uncertain future draws nearer and so too does the metamorphosis of the museum. Binaural soundscapes layered with ambient sounds stimulate perceptual illusions and combine with attention focusing techniques to alter the perception of the environment.

Binaural compositions simulate the aural qualities of the fictional locations whose sounds are plotted temporally and spatially within the different museums’ rooms. Sounds are movement responsive and triggered by participants’ own smartphones through novel uses of Bluetooth low energy ‘iBeacons’. As the drama proceeds, the recorded auditory dimensions of the rooms’ subtlety change that can affect the interpretation of sounds as live, recorded or imagined.

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Participants, in the role of protagonist, move simultaneously within the story’s locations and museum, physically situating the player within a fictional world of the game. The Lost Index: NATMUS develops William James’s [6] radical empiricist insight as an approach to interactive narrative that plays with the contexts of players’ beliefs, directing and misdirecting their attention and keeping knowing in transit.

and the Dieselhouse museum, Copenhagen photo Emma Whittaker

The Lost Index: NATMUS at the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen photo Emma Whittaker

The Lost Index: NATMUS can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for use at The National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagenand the Dieselhouse museum, Copenhagen. Headphones are required.

https://vimeo.com/108626316

[1] Milgram, P. & Kishino, F. (1994). ‘Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays’. IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems. Vol. E77-D, No.12 December 1994. <http://etclab.mie.utoronto.ca/people/paul_dir/IEICE94/ieice.html>

[2] Montola, M., Stenros, J. & Waern, A. (2010) Pervasive Games, Theory & Design. Burlington: Morgan Kaufmann

[3] Benford, S. Crabtree, A. Reeves, S. et al (2006) The Frame of the Game: Blurring the Boundary between Fiction and Reality in Mobile Experiences. CHI 2006, April 2227, 2006, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

[4] Reid, J. (2008) ‘Design for Coincidence: Incorporating Real World Artefacts in Location Based Games’. DIMEA’08, Athens, September 10–12.

[5] Whittaker, E. & Brocklehurst, J. R. (2015) ‘The Lost Index: NATMUS’ [iOS Application]. Apple Inc. [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-lost-index-natmus/id1058419473?mt=8]

[5] Whittaker, E. (2016) ‘Inside the Snow globe: Pragmatisms, belief and the ambiguous objectivity of the imaginary’. Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research, Vol. 13, No. 3 

The Lost Index: No.2 – The Turning

Download from the iTunes store

A museum has been infiltrated by secret enemy forces. A complete index has disappeared. Many objects can no longer be identified or verified. Stability has been disrupted. There are serious consequences that extend beyond the museum. Time is running out. Can you avoid danger and help intelligence forces stop ‘The Turning’, before it is too late?

Using iBeacon technology, this app asks one or multiple players to navigate through the museum against the clock and restore the index whilst avoiding enemy agents.

The Turning uses binaural sound and techniques from hypnotic induction in conjunction with real-world artefacts to create imaginary experiences.

This is the second in a series of The Lost Index smartphone games created by Trulyimagined for Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery that utilise perceptual illusions to create playable imaginative story-worlds.

Come and play at the app launch on 18th October 2014 at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery 10.00 -5.30pm

The Lost Index No.2 – The Turning is a novel sci-fi adventure game for iPhone and the second the series of The Lost Index apps, now freely available on iTunes.

The Lost Index, No.2 -The Turning

The Lost Index, No.2 – The Turning

The museum is under attack from covert enemy forces who have destroyed an index, with far reaching consequences. Many objects can no longer be identified or verified. Something strange is happening to the museum but what and why? Time is running out. Can you avoid danger and help intelligence forces stop The Turning – before it is too late?

The Lost Index, No.2 -The Turning: index

The Lost Index, No.2 -The Turning: index

Using iBeacon technology, this app asks one or multiple players to navigate through the museum against the clock and restore the index whilst avoiding enemy agents. The Lost Index No.2 – The Turning  uses binaural sound and techniques from hypnotic induction in conjunction with real-world artefacts to create imaginary experiences. This is the second in a series of The Lost Index smartphone apps produced for Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery by trulyimagined.

The Lost Index, No.2 - The Turning: Volatility meter

The Lost Index, No.2 – The Turning: Volatility meter

The official launch of The Lost Index No.2 – The Turning  is at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery  on 18 October 2014 as part of The Plymouth International Book Festival.

The Lost Index, No.2 - The Turning call screen

The Lost Index, No.2 – The Turning call screen

University of Greenwich

DRHA2014 at University of Greenwich

The Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities (DRHA2014) conference took place between 31st August and 4th September at the University of Greenwich, convivially convened by Anastasios Maragiannis, Academic Portfolio leader in Design and Senior Lecturer in Design Theory & Practice.

Professor Susan Broadhurst, of Brunel University and current chair of the DRHA, informed delegates that the conference, albeit with slight changes to its name to emphasise the centrality of the arts, was in its 29th year. Performance, exhibitions and workshops ran alongside multiple streams of academic papers encompassing a breadth of interdisciplinary arts and design practices from sound to architecture. Reflective of current critical debates in the arts, the themes of space, embodiment, narrative, social media, code, data ethics and geo-political issues, proliferated the critically framed critiques of practice and expositions of theory through practice.

Highlights of the week included the paper, After the Death of Cyberflâneur by Efthymia Kasimati of National Technical University of Athens who presented a revised model for contemplating in the city. Independent scholar Sarah Jaffray’s critical exposition Aesthetic Action: Instagram’s Technogeographies of Resistance considered the changing role of Instagram as social media site from travel mementoes to guerrilla journalism, where meta-tagged images are mobilised for political activism.

Expanded narrative practices featured in themes across the conference. In the inspiring and informative workshop Practice in Writing: A recipe for Creativity and Creative Interpretation, lead by Professor Janis Jefferies of Goldsmiths, University of London and Anastasios Maragiannis, an overview of recent interactive narrative on mobile and tablet platforms framed the creation of Twitter fiction. Participants experimented with chatbots, Siri, rhyming dictionaries, alternating first-person narration and rule based systems amongst other operations of creative play.

Academic papers in narrative practices were given by Daisy Abbott of Glasgow School of Art who considered spectacle and interpretation of National Theatre Live, in her paper “Cut me to pieces”: Shakespeare, fandom and the fractured narrative. Christina Papagiannouli in Etheatre Project: Political Participation in Theatre discussed the form and implications of audience participation – “cyber collaboration”, in her theatrical re-staging of Brecht plays online. In the work of Emma Whittaker and James Brocklehurst of Plymouth University, sci-fi adventure in museums with locative narrative smartphone apps The Lost Index were considered in the context of perceptual illusions in the paper Playing With Perception: Locative Narrative and Sonic Virtual Locations. Laura Carletti of Nottingham University discussed the use of NFC tags with photographic and oral histories of Latin American Communities in the UK in Transmedia Experience Design for Audience Engagement: An Experiment with Near Field Communication.

'So Pleased to Meet You' directed by Jillian Wallis.

‘So Pleased to Meet You’ directed by Jillian Wallis.

Narratives, scripted and promoted through online interactions were the subject of the play So Pleased to Meet You, directed by Jillian Wallis of University of Greenwich and performed by the company Pattern Fight. Existential questions of being, boredom, presence and imagination were comedically posed with stagings of Chatroulette.

Ghislaine Boddington of body>data>space presented Collaborative Share Spaces and Future Digi-bodiments, a historical overview of her curatorial involvement with artists in the field of virtual worlds and telepresence over the past 25 years. The work of contemporary artists such as Joseph Hyde and his work ‘me and my shadow’ demonstrated the reoccurrence of the desire to occupy the apocryphal ‘holodeck’ and encounter teleported people (via data projections) from across the globe. Elena Papadaki discussed the relationships between sites and interactivity in Communicating Technology: Interactive design and interdisciplinary collaboration in the digital arts.

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Federico Casalegno, MIT Mobile Experience Lab

While the technologies may be new, the ideas however, are frequently re-workings of artists’ earlier experiments with digital technologies, often prefigured by pre-digital practices in cyclical reoccurrence, as Professor Janis Jefferies rightly seemed to suggest in the panel discussion Research in the Digital Arts – historical perspectives and future innovations. Navigating city spaces was celebrated by Baudelaire, critiqued by Debord, narrativised by Cardiff and played using GPS enabled mobile platforms such as mscapes developed in early 2000’s by Hewlett Packard. Keynote speaker Federico Casalegno, director of MIT’s Mobile Experience Lab discussed Locast, the GPS digital mapping platform, developed in 2004 and since utilised in a number of collaborative projects including Mapping Moby-Dick.

Indy Saha, Google Creative Lab

Keynote speaker, Indy Saha celebrated a series of innovative projects developed by Google Creative Lab including YouTube Space Lab, Google Web Lab, Science Fair and the recent DevArt project aiming to promote artists as coders, currently exhibited as part of the Barbican’s Digital Revolution show. While the DevArt projects, such as Zac Lieberman’s ‘Play the world’, a keyboard that accesses live broadcast radio, are genuinely exciting, an acknowledgement of the historical precedence of artist as coders since the 1960s and previous innovation by research groups such as i-DAT would have been welcomed.

In Ghislaine Boddington’s concluding remarks of the conference she recounted that her fellow curators in East Asia require digital art to be at least as innovative and engaging as the digital environment that their audiences daily inhabit and urged that digital artists everywhere take up this challenge.

The peer reviewed DRHA2014 Book of Abstracts: Communicating futures: Connecting Interdisciplinary practices in arts/culture, academia and the creative industries, edited by Anastasios Maragiannis is available as a PDF and in print from Lulu.com 

The new edition of Multidisciplinary Design Practices by Anastasios Maragiannis is now available. 

DRHA 2015 will be hosted by Dublin City University 6-9th September.

http://www.mediafutures.org.uk/2013/images/Publish2013_Title_475x248.jpg

Discount for Publish! New adventures in innovation
Tuesday 24 September 2013 at St Brides, London

Media Futures offers you a 20% discount on early booking tickets for its Publish! New adventures in innovation a day of discussion and demonstration that showcases cutting edge prototypes in a changing book publishing industry. Publish! offers you a chance to take part in a significant debate, interact with the creators of some the latest experiments in the field, and meet potential collaborators.

Speakers include: Diana Stepner, Head of Future Technologies, Pearson; Fionnuala Duggan, Managing Director for International, CourseSmart; James Huggins, Chief Executive, Me Books; Bill Thompson, Head of Partnership Development, BBC Archives; George Walkley, Head of Digital, Hachette UK; and Clare Reddington, REACT Hub and director of iShed and The Pervasive Media Studio.

Early booking ends when tickets are sold out, or by Wednesday 18 September, and go up from £75 to £100 (individual) and £125 to £175 (corporate).

Use this discount code by Sunday 15 September: PublishDisc20

For further information and to book, please visit: http://www.mediafutures.org.uk/2013/

Expanded Narrative Symposium

Image by James Brocklehurst ‘Expanded Narrative Symposium’

Date of Symposium:

2 November 2013

Additional Symposium Events and Performances:

1 – 2 November

Description:

The Expanded Narrative Symposium explores the multidisciplinary field of interactive narrative that reconfigures the form and expands the experience of storytelling. The reader, relocated, becomes a player, co-author or participant. How can we design, develop and experience locative sound, participatory theatre, pervasive and mobile games, flash fiction and works yet to be defined? Through the consideration of these questions, the symposium aims to promote knowledge exchange and collaboration between practitioners from the arts, academia and the creative industries.

The symposium’s interconnected themes of story, sound, performance, games and space reflect the interdisciplinary nature of Expanded Narrative, examined by leading names.

Find out more on the symposium webpage

Book Here

The symposium is supported by the EU project VIVID in conjunction with the School of Art & Design Southampton Solent University, LiteratureWorks, Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University Faculty of Arts Teaching & Learning, The School of Art and Media, MADr and The School of Humanities and Performing Arts.

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ICIDS 2012

Call for Papers ICIDS 2012

“ICIDS is the premier international conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (IDS), bringing together researchers interested in presenting recent results, sharing novel techniques, and exchanging ideas about this exciting new media. IDS redefines the narrative experience by empowering the audience to significantly participate in the story due to advances in technology. [Continue Reading…]

'Dip Your Toe'

“The Nightingale, with Brighton Fringe and The Marlborough Theatre, present Dip Your Toe
 Experience an interactive performance adventure in the streets of Brighton, with a series of unique theatre pieces performed in and around six Victorian-style bathing machines across the city.
Throughout May, when Brighton is blooming with art, six bespoke Victorian-style bathing machines will appear at some of the city’s iconic landmarks.
Each bathing machine will be the inspiration and the venue for a series of brand new performances by South East artists, creating unforgettable experiences with the city and its visitors.
See these fascinating replicas brought to life as beautifully customised, mobile mini-theatres, housing astonishing performances every weekend in May.”

Photo E. Whittaker: Publish! A Day of Innovation on the Future of the Book. 8 December 2011, Watershed, Bristol.

Publish! was convened by Media Futures’s Nico MacDonald and Laura North in partnership with Tracey Guiry of Cyprus Well, in collaboration with Plymouth University and funded by NESTA. The one-day conference brought together authors, artists, publishing houses, academia and digital entrepreneurs, speakers and delegates from across the breadth of publishing and beyond. [Continue Reading…]