Interactivity & the Collective Narrative: “Catalysts”

In 2007, the year I finished my Master’s in Media Studies, I attended sleepwalkers at MoMA and wrote extensively on the interactive element within exhibition design for completion of my degree work. Aitken’s sleepwalkers is a good example of a contemporary experience of media being carried out collectively and also speaks to the collective narrative, as Aitken built into the projections a random re-ordering of the scenes. He thereby established a new collective narrative with each cycle, engaging and involving the viewer in a new way each time, albeit slightly dictatorial to the viewer.

On an unrelated-to-sleepwalkers note, we’re actually addressing thoughts on social media for Week 2 of Catalysts, and I seem to have missed that mark. So, I’m adding this post-script regarding social media and how I use it in my art & work: I’m not on Facebook, but I am on Twitter and I totally see the value of social media 🙂

Twitter: @CarolynMedia

10 thoughts on “Interactivity & the Collective Narrative: “Catalysts””

  1. Interesting that you bring up Doug Aitken’s Sleepwalkers, because we discuss it in Week 5. I can see how this can be viewed as a collective narrative, in the sense of how the individual stories of a group of New Yorkers are woven together. Another way to think about the collective narrative (in the context of Aitken’s direction), is how the individuals contribute independently of a central author. We take this up in Week 6 when we discuss networked art, how participants via the network (such as in social media) weave their own collective narrative through their individual and independent contributions to the whole.

  2. Yes, thanks for the distinction within the context of Aitken. I didn’t intend to jump ahead, something about the assignment and leading questions you posed brought sleepwalkers to mind as I considered them…

  3. I enjoyed the ambient aspect of the Sleepwalkers video. I wish I could see it in “real life.” The scale of the projections seem to be a big part of the project’s effect. I noticed Chan Marshall (Cat Power) is one of the on-camera talents. She has been a big part of the ATL music and art scene since the 90s. Even though she travels the world, she always manages to stop back here and nurture old relationships. Her great talent has been collaboration with other musicians. She’s worked with countless different lineups, all compelling. Because of her ability to collaborate, her work is always heading in a new direction.

  4. Great, Bill, and yes it was an experience to see in “real life” because of its monumentality. I look forward to further dialogue when we examine it in class. And maybe Randall knows if it will ever be exhibited again…

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