Collaborative Models:

Ghost Town

Since the completion of her documentary Home Sweet Home (90min. June 2012) Enrica Colusso has been working – in collaboration with Jason DaPonte (The Swarn) producer and Philo van Kemenade (creative technologist) as mentor – on Ghost Town, the first chapter of a wider research project, an ongoing multimedia investigation of the transformation of cityscape over time designed to provide an innovative framework for developing new perspectives on urban experience.

Drawing on Michael Shanks’ notion of “deep-mapping” and Jesse Shapins’ theory and practices around urban representation, the project will take the form of an interactive “deep” map of the Elephant & Castle – an area of central London presently undergoing massive regeneration  – and in particular of the Heygate Estate over the last hundred years and beyond.

Engaging with one of modernity’s ruins – the Heygate Estate – Ghost Town proposes a journey of discovery bringing the participants into the heart of the process of urban and social transformation, providing an opportunity to meet its protagonists, critically engage with its traces and develop new perspectives on the modern environment we inhabit ultimately, we hope, empowering them to promote change and play an active role in our increasingly urbanized society.

This initial chapter sets up the conceptual story space (by structuring content within a spatially exportable immersive environment), introducing the users to the idea of a story as a navigated, cognitive journey, as well as to the story protagonists.

The final project will combine the extensive video archives (over 200 hours shot over 4 years) created for “Home Sweet Home” with other relevant data/archives, as well as open data about the area and user-generated content, to allow users to spatially explore the layers of memory, stories and media latent within a single location.

Using the project as a case study the panel will explore the relationship between Narrative and Computational Structure (the design of interfaces which function as narrative devices) and engage with questions about the shifting nature of authorial agency seen from the perspective of the how these new/different roles affect the creative dynamic in these new forms of documentary storytelling.

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