On the New Media Narratives and Interactive Storytelling.

We live in a non-linear world.

Linearity, in a traditional storylines and narratives, are a forced construct- an illusory attempt of the mind to force chronological order out of a natural state of chaotic events and occurrences. In fact, a single story is endless; until the reader or author draws a conclusion.

If we go into a theater, watch a 2-hour film and walk out when it ends; if we read a book, we come to page 350 where the author has tied up a story of one or more characters, into a tidy and cohesive conclusion. Real life is unlike that.

There are always going to be multiple streams of narratives, various endpoints, beginnings and alternate conclusions.

Dissembled a story's pieces may appear 'irrational", "chaotic"; yet, the mind forces a bridge, it builds relationships to find meaning in.

In interactive gaming, this notion of' multiple streams" and hybridized narratives are often practiced and imitate the preceding concepts of the "create your own adventure" MS-Dos games and mystery books of the '80s. [G.Weinbren]

The world wide web is also a prime example and visual representation of how the mind bridges networks, multiple streams and links to various sources of meaning and information.

Likewise, the subconscious acts like this in dreams. It delves from a fauna-- endless streams of consciousness.

Pieces of a story are fragmented, interchangeable units.

Lev Manovich ties the natural state of non-linear story-telling to roots in the film production process, where shots are collected and edited from non-chronological sequence. Through editing, shots are stored in a database and then assembled to create a story.

'The Listening Pillow' draws upon these ideas and the concept of non-linear time, multiple streams and... a single still photograph.

Take a single photograph. Image, composition, subject matter, lighting... all possess narratives independent from one another. Placed together in one shot, this image creates a symphony of visual meaning; it is a collision of linguistic variables and values tied within an instant of capture. The shot creates 'a fixed point of reference' and also reminds us the condition is both, temporal and eternal. [Barthes]

Bridging from earlier works with box sculpture and assemblage narratives, my video work in interactive storytelling, often feels like an act of recovering memory. I explore linguistics through photographs, video, non-linear editing and interactive possibilities to deal with ideas of body/performance, memory, identity and space. My work seeks to speak through dreams, photographs ... and expresses itself in either a memory, a mood, a song, dance or story.

By Christine Ka'aloa

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