Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

Interface the Nation

Posted on | February 12, 2014 | No Comments

Building upon what David and Raheem were saying, I really enjoyed Longford’s piece. I am interested in the representation of space and place in my own work, and especially the importance of these ideas in a time where we spend as much, if not more, time in our own virtual spaces as we do in the city we inhabit. With so many games designed to pull us out of our “place,” be it our subway ride to school or the minutes that we wait for an appointment or to meet up with a friend, it seems like we are never satisfied just being “here.” That’s why I love the fact that people are creating these interactive experiences that are so focused on being “here” and picking up on the natural topography and architecture of the site. My only question about this is how much it is “event” based? I get that people are likely to go out and experience this interactive event with their friends on its opening night, but I wonder how many people would use their cell phones to communicate with the dead while cutting through the park on their way to work? Can we foreseeably get to a point where AR games are as popular as Angry Birds? Where people can get satisfaction from “here” in the same way they do being transported to another world? Can an augmented reality create the same interest and excitement as alternative realities do? I’ve been doing a bit of research into augmented reality apps and one of the most popular (and my favourite) is one called “Beam Me Up” where the person standing in front of the camera on your mobile device gets “beamed up,” Star Trek style. Maybe AR is better suited for short little tricks like this rather than longer narratives? Or at least in Canada where no one wants to spend more time in a park in February than they have to?

I am looking forward to seeing Norman Klein’s work in class tomorrow because his essay annoyed me. I again feel it is that Marshall McLuhan idea that we look at the present through a rear view mirror. Instead of looking to new ways of opening up narrative structures like Longford suggested, it seemed Klein was intent on using classic ideas to tell his story, saying that apertures must be authored through the plot, rather than created through the device. Is there no other way to draw users into your story? I found this new narrative called “The Silent Story” that is closer to what I imagined a mobile story to be. It is a highly fragmented story told through first hand testimonials accompanied by location specific field reports that build upon the story and tailor it to your location. Predictably, there are more field reports in sunny LA and Florida than up north, but it does seem to be a dramatically different way to tell your story. Here it is for anyone that is interested: http://www.thesilenthistory.com


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