Maya Chowdry considers herself an ‘interactive artist’ as she creates a variety of content which usually involved some form of audience interaction in order for it to be active (http://interactiveartist.org/). Her piece Tales From The Towpath is a location based narratives which used a mixture of methods to present the story by using the app Zappar, Geocaching and live performance centred within the Manchester area. It explores three different characters at three different points in time and how their stories link together. Each point in time is represented by a different method of storytelling, the past told through the chances, the present through live performance and the future using Zapp codes in each of the locations to reveal virtual reality content on a persons mobile phone.(http://interactiveartist.org/tales-from-the-towpath/) Chowdry discussed with us the issues she had found with her own project upon reflection and how she overcame these problems in future. For example, she found that a lot of people would attend the tour of the project without having charged phones or downloading the app Zappar in order to participate. Therefore she began to start the tour at a café with wifi so people could charge phones and download the app without having to pay for any mobile data.
When using apps such as Zappar and Blipar to create location based stories, it is important to consider the following:
- Environmental Change
- How to mix the narrative with the location.
To create a short location based story which follows ‘The Day in the Life of a Cat’ which will take approximately 15-20mins maximum to complete.
Creating the idea
As a group we went to each of the locations and each wrote down words to describe each of the locations we intended to use. This would give us a written account of each of the places. By thinking about what is in each of the areas we could consider what the cat might go there to do and what content would be suitable for the area.
In order to keep a consistent theme to link each of the locations, the content would be delivered in a children’s story book style with short sentences, easy to read fonts, colour and drawings. As this project is aimed at children and families, this design would be most suitable as it will be easy to read and engaging for the children.
Product and Evaluation
What works: As the locations are within a 5 minuet walk from one another, this made the time it took to complete the trail a short amount of time. This is ideal as if it took too long to complete, an audience may loose interest and decide not to complete the story, especially as our audience included children who might not have the stamina to walk for a while to find the next location. The content presented was neat and used lots of colour and a mixture of fun fonts which would best engage the audience.
What doesn’t: After reflecting on this piece, the location may not be the most appropriate for the audience. As we aimed this at families and children, perhaps it would have been better if the locations we chose to use were in a safer area with less traffic. If the area was residential rather than in the heart of the city, it would be more suitable for a family audience.
Overall this project was reasonably successful. It demonstrates how Zappar could be used to create a location based story. The story would be suitable in any weather condition and there is no reason that it could go out of date other than due to technological advancements. I found this media form particularly interesting and although at first I was not considering using it, it may be interesting to develop the idea of location based storytelling further. I would like to experiment with the ‘Track Image’ feature on the app and use transparent videos to create a virtual reality, much like to popular app ‘Pokémon Go’.