BRIEF 1: In the final chapter of his book Interface Culture, Steven Johnson challenges interface designers to work in opposition to the mainstream, to view the interface as art, to become a new avant-garde. Take up this challenge and make your project a radical reinvention of a user interface.
For example, why do all computer GUI’s have rectangular windows that tile on top of each other? Is there a radical new approach to the interface and user experience of the desktop?
BRIEF 2: Your project should offer a highly immersive user experience, in which the user will become part of an alternate reality. Perhaps it’s a game, a piece of theatre or a form of advertising. It might be an app or a website or it can be transmedia – working across multiple platforms.
[CHOSEN BRIEF]: BRIEF 2: Your project should offer a highly immersive user experience, in which the user will become part of an alternate reality. Perhaps it’s a game, a piece of theatre or a form of advertising. It might be an app or a website or it can be transmedia – working across multiple platforms.
Short Proposal: For this project, I intend to create an app based interactive drama that uses your own personal contacts, communications and photos stored on your smartphone to construct an immersive narrative that highlights the issues surrounding the security of our personal information.
Long Proposal: For this project, I intend to create an app based interactive drama revolving around a murder, the main protagonist is a detective who is looking for clues and is attempting to gather evidence to solve a murder case. However, the clues and evidence he is finding are the personal contents of your smartphone in which you are running the app. The clues might be texts you’ve sent or photos you have stored on your smartphone, personal and intimate to you, this will add an unpredictable, humorous or embarrassing twist to the narrative. Each time you run the drama it’s different because it uses different pieces of personal information you have given it access too, as clues in the story and there’re alternate endings, which will hopefully make users return to play it again with their friends and share the outcome on social media.
The aim of the app based immersive drama, in a fun and lighthearted way, is to highlight how pervasive and prevalent smartphones have become and how much they know about us and how much information they have access too especially if it were to come into the wrong hands. If the app makes just one person think twice about the ridiculous privileges we give to apps like Uber and Facebook, so they can track us or use the information to generate profit by selling to advertisers, the job of the app is complete. I don’t want to encourage people to stop storing personal information on they’re smartphones and using them in an intimate and personal way, they’re wonderful tools for us to take advantage of. I just want to make the users of the app aware of how there is a prerequisite agreement we have to make in order to use services like Uber, Facebook and Snapchat, which means we must sacrifice our privacy and personal data in order to use them.
Sources of inspiration include;
[RESEARCH] Sources of Inspiration:
Lost in Val Sinestra: “By using Facebook Connect, the cast of a fictional movie trailer is put together from 10 Facebook friends and personalized in a matter of seconds. One can simply visit the Lost in Val Sinestra website, select a language and connect with Facebook in order to choose nine friends (including oneself). The friends’ profile pictures and names (audio, video, text) are then cleverly incorporated as part of the storyline in a stunning three-minute trailer for a horror movie.”
Paolo Cirio – Face to Facebook: “This artwork appropriated one million Facebook profiles and posted 250,000 of them on a custom-made dating website with profiles sorted by temperament estimated by artificial intelligence analyzing facial expressions. The dating website (Lovely-Faces.com) provided a stage for anybody to interact with Facebook users’ personality traits, while Facebook had to confront the artwork made with its appropriated material and as a result of its security flaws. The project took place over five days of thrilling personal, media, and legal reactions, which became a Global Mass Media Performance. The performance generated over a thousand mentions in the international press, eleven legal threats, five death threats, and several letters from the lawyers of Facebook. The project addressed surveillance, privacy and the economy of social media monopolies as well as art interventions within global media. Co-author: Alessandro Ludovico.”
The Memory Dealer: Another source of inspiration for this project is The Memory Dealer by Rik Lander, it is an interactive drama that uses a smartphone app, live performers and installations that take place in several places around the center of Bristol, in an attempt to immerse the audience in the story. The Memory Dealer is a form of interactive theatre where you become an integral part of the story, I had a chance to experience this project first hand and I think that is where the real immersion lies, feeling like a fundamental piece of the storyline. Unlike most plays and novels where you are not a rudimentary part of the story, you are just a third party watching the story unfold. In The Memory Dealer, you have to walk to certain places and communicate with characters in the story and carry out tasks, which makes the whole drama much more immersive and captivating because you have a vested interest in the outcome and feel a sense of responsibility.