the interactive gambit (do not run! we are your friends!)

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In interactivity, choice is often taken as an objective in itself. Indigestion lures the interactive viewer to engage in the collision of two incongruous structural ideas -- the outward branching of interactive narrative and the convergence of the singular fate of noire. This play of genres serves to critique the rhetoric of freedom which dominates interactive subjectivity.

Indigestion is conceived in two parts: the interactive video and a virtual environment. In an adjoining space, one participant using a motion-sensing device, can navigate through the computer generated, magnified space of the same dinner table. This virtual view will be projected in real time and in 3-dimensions, for multiple viewers wearing stereoscopic glasses. The image will be split onto two large screens on opposite sides of the room, analogous to a car's front and rear windshield. The perception of moving forward on one screen appears as moving away from on the other.

The magnified viewpoint, in combination with the full range of motion on the table surface, will produce an unexpected narrative possibility -- a micro-drama that can be played out in the details: the lipstick print on the rim of a wine glass, a third character reflected in the blade of a knife, a cryptic symbol written in the condensation of a water glass. The interactive viewer can sneak a peek in areas unavailable to the viewer of the video, like below the tabletop.

The table will be a forensic surface. Using a point and click feature on the navigation device, the viewer can monitor the changing level of the wine bottle, the quantity of refills and level of sobriety of any character, the spectrographic readings of the narcotic as it takes effect, or the running caloric and cholesterol count of each character. The table will also tell a story of its own fabrication: the candles melt down, leaving only their wire frame, the wine glass falls and disengages its texture map...

  The two modes of "Indigestion," the interactive video and the virtual environment, each privilege a different aspect of the same event, but the two are not cumulative. Rather, they produce conflictual narratives that remain "indigestible," unable to close.

THE LAST TWO PROJECTS are both set in traditional proscenium theaters. Theater audiences still go to "live" performance to experience an unique, unrepeatable event in time and space -- an experience presumably distinct from the assortment of media entertainment available at the push of a button. "Monkey Business Class" is about money -- in its evolution from precious metals to digi-cash. We worked in collaboration with Hotel Pro Forma and Dumb Type in a genre long taken for dead: the musical.

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