Category Archives: Collective Storytelling

Collective Storytelling Final

This is my collective Storytelling final! In this class I’ve been fighting some of my knee-jerk reaction to any problem with is just to through code at it until it gives up. In the spirit of keeping things as minimalist as possible so that I can finally get a project that’s not choking with code, I present: AIG – a collective story! It is not completely done, but its in a version that could stand on its own if it needed to.

View it Here!

Storytelling final concept Number 2!

Here is the map I’ve created of pre-scandal AIG. I’ve managed to separate it out into four major areas: Basic corporate facts, successful corporate history, sleazy under the table corporate history, and rising action. That is to say, the foundation for the situation, the image that was being presented tot he public, hints at what was going on under the surface, and the final straws that broke the camels back.

Storytelling final concept

memory_flowerSo last week I posted about my plan for a collective storytelling final:

I’m going to try to to chart the history of the recent business upheaval using pictures: No piece of PR reflects a business’s self-image more than its website, and so many recent economic scandals have their roots in how a business chose to portray itself to the public and its own employees.

And this week I’ve been thinking about the form it will take. As a knee-jerk reaction I want to say a processing sketch or application that will generate stuff in real time, but the fact is I wonder if something like a big poster or website (or even a video?) wouldn’t work better. Ideas?

Jonathan Harris and a Final Story

jonathan-harris-2I’m a fan of Jonathan Harris. Lemme try again – I’m a groupie. He’s on my list. I dig his stuff. Why do I like him so much? Well, his work is useful.

One of the biggest issues I have with Art with a capitol Ar is that it’s very pretty, and it may make a deep philosophical statement, and yes it’s important that someone is thinking about deep issues I guess, but it’s really really inaccessible. Art with an Ar just requires way too much effort on the part of the viewer for not a lot of reward- it’s there, but it’s not, practically speaking, especially useful to the world at large. It’s like, congratulations – you have an opinion about something.

This is a frame of mind that has gotten my rear kicked a total of three times since I started ITP (you know who you are and I’m still annoyed!), and one that’s lead me to always try for projects that either are either really really accessible, or just plain pretty and fun without any extra philosophical baggage.

Jonathan’s work falls mostly into the first category…but there’s a little bit of Art in there too. And yet it’s successful! Two seconds after looking at any of his pieces you know what he has to say and why, and it’s a pleasure learn more. And it’s pretty – so pretty that it isn’t work to look at his pieces. Most importantly there’s no feeling of being tutored about a subject, or the suspicion of being condecended to which can be so deadly to some projects.

Anyway, the point of all this is, I’m feeling inspired. For my final project in Collective storytelling I’m going to violate my promise and make some Art with a capitol Ar, and try to make it at all palatable using the two Jonathan principles: Make Your Point Simple, and Make it Pretty.

A lot of my summer and semester has been news oriented, so perhaps its time for a change. I’m going to try to to chart the history of the recent business upheaval using pictures: No piece of PR reflects a business’s self-image more than its website, and so many recent economic scandals have their roots in how a business chose to portray itself to the public and its own employees.

Using the NYTimes API to sort through scandals of the last 3 years and the Wayback Machine of how corporate websites changed over time I plan to create a diagram-timeline-garden showing how these websites contained the seeds, in this case litterally, to our final “sprouted mess”. I’m still working on the compelte form, but it will be easy to understand and pretty, a la Jonathan

Arthur, Try 2

SO here’s take 2 on the Arthur story. The quality is a little low – I’m going to try to export it again and fugure out what went wrong.

A visit to the tree museum

3646242463_b31fcbbcb4_oWell, I’m going to be perfectly honest. I am not blown away by the tree museum, a sort-of instillation up in the Bronx right now. It’s a project with a lot of potential, but I feel like the whole thing was a little miss-done. Here’s my issues.

The way the museum works is you walk around find these little plaques that happen to be near a tree, dial in the number found there, and listen to an audio clip. The problem is, the clips seemed completely random. I had expected a tree museum maybe was a way to bring nature back into a big city…or maybe a commentary on the fact that there are few trees here, or just information on nature, historical trees, what this particular tree was used for, something famous that happened here…really anything of relevance that could justify the museum’s name.

Instead, the clips seemed random – local tourist information, the sound of some ethnic singing, an explanation of a nearby statue. It’s information for the most part without regard for the location, things that could be just as easily imparted through dialing from home, or for that matter through a website.

1I was also disappointed in the location. Using call-in numbers for local info isn’t a bad idea, but it’s not useful for locals (who presumably already know the name of the park, etc). That kind of information should be placed in tourist areas, or other places where a large amount of non-locals will be. This bright little installation, those markers that haven’t been stolen already I mean, just seemed out of place in such a derelict area filled with homeless folks and junkies. It seemed, to be honest, a little condescending in a “come let us bestow some Art on these people” kind of way.

Anyway, I feel like this was a really good idea, but the implementation could have been better thought through. Also, the sound quality on the recordings was very poor.

Digital storytelling: Arthur

1Here’s a little digital story I made. The reading for Collective Storytelling this week suggested relationships as a topic, and I decided to take it literally. This is the story of a relationship I had back in 1998. The small size is here: Click me! And the full-sized version can be found here: Click me!