FAQ

What is the point?
And what does this thing do?
No, seriously – What is the point?
How do I use it?
How many stories are there?
Why are there so many versions?
What is the difference between the Web and Installation version?
Which is the definitive version?
Why do we see the faces rather than just hear the sounds?
Why 9?
Why 15 screens?
Where do the lines come from?
Why split the stories?
What is the intended outcome?
Who is the author?

What is the point?
The “Author” has no control over how their work is interpreted by the “reader”. We all interpret the “cues” that we experience through a “system” that gives us the meaning of a text. These meanings will be a combination of cultural, social and personal meanings. This means that everything we experience is personal to our specific “system” of meanings that we use to “decode” and interpret the messages that we receive.

And what does this thing do?
This piece explores that concept by breaking down the method of communication to make our unconscious filtering ”system” more conscious. The various “cues” are thrown at us in the form of a sentence from a story, and we interpret them based on our own internal “system” and the previous and next lines thrown at us. This way, we become conscious of the decisions we make when finding meanings in our experiences.

No, seriously – What is the point?
The purpose is to find new narratives. As creators of media texts, we need to be aware that we have no control over the interpretation of the message. We need to be aware how these can be mis/reinterpreted. Our responsibility in creating then moves from originality to awareness of social, cultural and personal meanings and our job becomes one of arranging a series of cues to convey a meaning as effectively as possible. The reader seeks a meaning in the form of a narrative, however in this case there isn’t an intended story or narrative, just a concept and a collision of cues.

How do I use it?
Approach all versions with an open mind. Each one has been designed to operate in a slightly different way. However, since the meaning of the piece and the narratives that emerge are dependant on the engagement of the reader. You can play all films at the same time, or stop and start them, or you can follow one screen to see the story on that screen – which may or may not be the original intended story.

How many stories are there?
Depending on the version, either 15 or 9 different stories have been generated. However, each viewer will interpret a different story or narrative.

Why are there so many versions?
It has been argued there is only one story and an infinite number of ways of telling it. So, this piece combines exactly the same set of “cues” in a number of ways. Each has the same purpose, but some maybe more effective to individuals due to the personal nature of some “systems”

What is the difference between the Web and Installation version?
The final version is a multi screen aleatoric video installation. It is extremely hard to convey this experience in a single video, so the web versions act to replicate the experience by replacing the physical space and experience with interactivity. The web version was originally designed as a test but has become just as important as the installation. They all work within the original concept and while I may have a favourite, others will gain insight form different incarnations.

Which is the definitive version?
The “Web Version” is the definitive online version. The “Narrative Breaker v2” is the definitive installation version. However, due to the nature of the personal interpretation, I cannot point to a true definitive as each individual will find one version more satisfying than any others.

Why do we see the faces rather than just hear the sounds?
Human interaction is vital for communication. We are hard wired to see patterns, and especially faces. We also react far more favourably to a visual presence, rather than just audibly.

Everyone has a preferred sense and will respond more favourably when stimulated along that one. Hence the main installation attempts to engage on the Auditory (but having human voices), the visual (faces) and kinaesthetically (physically defined space allowing audience to move around)

Why 9?
The number 9 is a “magical” number, being 3 x 3 – also a very significant number in religion and mythology. WE also tend to look at stories as having a 3 or 9 act narrative, which makes 9 lines a good way to approach a simple story structure.

Why 15 screens?
Well – that’s how many students completed the task!

Where do the lines come from?
They all came form the students. Each student was involved in a “Storydust” exercise, where they developed a number of ideas. They were then asked to tell this story in 3 lines – Beginning, middle and end as a Macro Structure. Each line was then split into 3 more lines – so the Middle will also have a beginning, middle and end as a Micro structure to the story. This way, we have a cohesive 9 line or 9 act structure to a story.

Why split the stories?
We break the original stories to replicate the way we experience “cues” colliding in our everyday experience. We break the stories to replicate the selective interpretation of the reader. Communication models theorise that the understanding of any cue starts with the reception of it, which is effected by the medium used and any interference that may get in the way. By breaking the stories, we can begin to see this process in action.

What is the intended outcome?
There is no such thing as originality. In any medium, we are refereeing to previous texts in that medium. This piece is asking the audience / viewer / reader to find a new story from a collection of existing stories, just as humans are inclined to do in their everyday life as well as when confronted with a constructed text. This is exposing the unconscious activity that we engage in when we are confronted with a text. The intention is to lay this bare to help us construct new texts with system to measure effectiveness –  rather than a personal opinion based on low self esteem and a lack of confidence.

Who is the author?
The point of the piece is that there is no author, only readers. But each reader is the author of their own meaning – whether this is in reference to the narratives that emerge or the concept it is inspired by and dealing with. We have a single “scriptor” responsible for the concept and the installation, 15 “scriptors” responsible for the aesthetic creativity of the 9 line narratives and the technical capturing of the message in a specific medium. Each viewer is invited to find a new narrative, making them “authors” of their own meaning – as well as the interpretation of the piece as a whole.

Bibliography

Mehrabian and Ferris (1967). “Inference of Attitude from Nonverbal Communication in Two Channels”. In: The Journal of Counseling Psychology Vol.31, 1967, pp.248-52.

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