Point.forty dialogic artwork: An exploration of the personal (and collective) impact of augmented storytelling.

Tuppen-Corps, Alice (2016) Point.forty dialogic artwork: An exploration of the personal (and collective) impact of augmented storytelling. In: Stories that make a difference. Pensa Multimedia, Italy, pp. 108-115. ISBN 978-88-6760-360-2

Point.forty dialogic artwork: An exploration of the personal (and collective) impact of augmented storytelling.
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‘Four women, aged 40, powerful and vivid, passionate and connective. What do their stories reveal?' Exploring the performative artwork, ‘Point. forty’.

This chapter examines the outcomes from my recent practice-based project, ‘Point. forty’. The piece portrayed the memories, reflections and dreams, of four female participants at the pivotal midlife transition of the forties.

In the 'live', the artwork re-staged participant stories to positive affect, through an engagement with twelve co-authored short films, screened on four doors, situated at a distance to four co-responding tables. On each table, personal ‘objects’ were placed, perhaps an old key, a dry starfish, a displaced teacup, or a pair of child’s red shoes.

As audiences entered the space, four could choose to sit as ‘explorers’, embodying the intimate space of a participant’s own chair, illuminated by a single lamp, enclosed within an auditory world of a personal headset. Others stood, ‘watchers’, their bodies casting shadows into the surrounding darkness and silence.

The objects on the explorer’s tables invited tactile exploration. When an object was moved, tilted or rattled, a corresponding film came ‘alive’ and a voice was heard within the headsets. The piece functioned to draw the audience into momentarily ‘touching’ the participant’s life, whilst simultaneously offering a physical and conceptual space for self-reflection.

My research set out to investigate how the power of re-staging individual stories, through immersive and performative technologies, could generate new qualities of reflective space. Enabling individual and collective conversation, contemplation and connection.

My working methodologies drew on social, technological and artistic approaches from human computer interaction, social science and performance studies. Specifically methods of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009), and Mark Granovetter’s seminal concept, ‘The Strength of Weak Ties’ (1973), were extended through attentive listening and video editing approaches. This unique practitioner framework, (Candy and Edmonds, 2011, p.190) was a transformative and iterative dialogue that moved between participants, the audience, artwork and myself. Generative findings were then distilled from this in-vivo experimentation. All components, to include MAX MSP software, Arduino hardware and the physicality of cables and wires, acted as networked co-creators within an environment that crossed virtual, conceptual and physical spaces.

The qualitative outcomes, gained through an analysis of participant’s and audience responses, revealed that the immersive quality of the experience was both restorative and transformative to people’s lives. Of intrigue was the relatively long duration of time audience members stayed within this digital artwork, between 40-60 minutes. As an early career researcher, this piece attracted fulltime funding for my now completed PhD in ‘Enabling Deep Relational Encounter through Participatory Practice-Based Research’ within which I developed my findings from 'Point .forty' by inviting other adult ‘groupings’ into participatory interactivity. By encouraging the narration and performance of individual lived-experience through interdisciplinary methods, I demonstrate how I create new forms of artistic agency that can transcend boundaries and enrich communities. It is anticipated that my findings will contribute to initiatives such as the SWAN charter, Audience Engagement Council, NEF and UK Well Being Agenda an add to the emergent field of transdisciplinary research.

Keywords:Transdisciplinary Approach, Feminine, Encounter, Transformational, Participatory, Life Narratives, Practice-based Research, Co-authorship, Augmentation, Embodied, Interactive, Tactile, Multimodal, Arts, Immersive, Performative, Social-technological, Granovetter, Phenomenological, Candy and Edmonds
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:49051
Deposited On:27 Apr 2022 10:45

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