blackBOX: Painting A Digital Picture of Documented Memory site charts the conceptual & design development of blackBOX creative arts doctoral project, Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney. A creative portal in itself, composed of fragments of the digital moving image, photo, & textual elements of the CD-ROM. Exploring this site, provides down-loadable elements of the thesis, but also gives a sense of the architecture, stylistic concerns, and ideas behind the production of the artwork.
The work seeks to exploit and enhance the creative potentials of digitally produced music, sound, image and text relationships in an interactive online & disc based environment. In this context, the delivery of interactive work online provides an innovative approach to the conventional narrative & documentary forms. In blackBOX, the participant/player will experience new possibilities produced through the slippage across a series of interactive screen surfaces, engaging the participant/player in a spatial relationship with the program.
The story emerges from a Russian/Greek girls movement through the metropolis. The girl protagonist, Nina is documented making a digital journey from the interior of her urban apartment into the city. The cityscape becoming haunted by traces of her past, the memories projected onto the surfaces of her city.
What is the girl searching for and what does she discover in her city? The objective for the player/participant inside this interactive Metropolis is to trigger three interactive movements & to stumble upon three metaphoric Chinese Boxes that contain three symbolic performances, resonating for the girl in relation to her cultural identity and identification with the culture in which she is immersed.
The task is to explore the urban spaces, & uncover these three magical BLACKboxes, which in turn unleash - (i) chineseBOX - the Russian Jazz from China, (ii) pandorasBOX - Rembetika (the Greek Blues) & (3) jewelBOX - classical Indian dance/music performances. These three symbolic performances revealing her cultural origins, and thus, providing player/participant accomplishment and apprehension of the work.
"...Cities - large and small, global and local, north and south - have become (for better or worse) the principal material expressions of contemporary human civilisation...what happens when the representational cities of cyberspace displace urban reality. Yet virtual realities perforce remain grounded..." from
Michael J. Dear, The Postmodern Urban Condition, University of Southern California, Balckwell, USA, 2000, p7-8. "...If the computer text is in essence unstable, will this not have two consequences; (i) a redefinition of the relative temporal status of experience and representation; (ii) a challenge to the concept of [representation/thinking] itself...? In this sense the knowledge base seems to resemble much more closely the human memory system than the remote storage device of the book...In this way text may actually rediscover some of the properties of oral narrative (one of the modalities of performance) which in its formulaic nature offers an infinite number of ways of telling the same story..."
Helen Hilton, "The Three Dimensional Text: Computers, Writing and Performance", in The Machine As Metaphor and Tool, Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1993.