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Charles Deemer wants a hypertheater, ACM HT08 at WRT: Writer Response Theory




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[This continues the experiment of live blogging conferences, although here I will present some documentation of a workshop and open up this post as a conversation space for those who are attending the conference and far beyond. ACM Hypertext 2008, Pittsburgh]

Charles Deemer presented his work “Changing Key” as an exploration of interactive narratives. “Changing keys” is a story of a group of characters who surround a jazz musician struggling with addiction. We experience their stories by choosing to watch videos from their individual points of view. Deemer shows his master hand at direction here — turning a low budget production into an engaging set of scenes, well intertwined.
His talk is here: “Changing Key” the talk.

Deemer’s two: Hyperdrama: Live and on video. Deemer has been producing what he calls hyperdrama since 1985. His use of the term largely relates to works that afford opportunities for encountering a drama by pursuing the performances of a variety characters in different order.

“Changing Keys” is an example of the video. Audience members have the opportunity to search through the videos. Comparisons were drawn to Babel, Rashomon, 11:14 and others — but the largest question was is this fundamentally different when accessed via a web page.

Was the story different based on our paths? Was the effect different based on our paths? Does it matter? Is this wat we think of by hyperdrama?

His proposition: Hyperdrama needs an address. A new kind of stage.

Deemer’s model is not process-intensive, but it does ask a very fundamental question about approaches to one particular question in electronic narrative.

Some other questions that this raises are What is the legacy of hyperdrama: video games? interactive dinner theater? Reality TV?

[For now, I will leave this post as an introduction. I invite you to investigate his talk and join the conversation]

See a more indepth post about this talk on Dennis Jerz’s blog.



2 Responses to “Charles Deemer wants a hypertheater, ACM HT08”

  1. 1 Mark Marino

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    I’m going to pose this as a comment

    This is not processing-intensive but it is a fundamental narrative question that we are still wrestling with. Who is actively and critically working on these questions now?

  2. 2 Mark Marino

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    How does the Babal, Rashomon, as I Lay Dying narrative affect us when we experience it following our own paths versus following a set path (film, play, drama, novel)?

    One aspect that it changes for me is in the creation of dramatic irony, which is only possible if someone has the information (suggested or otherwise) of later events. That’s not to say that a linear text can’t produce dramatic irony — but that different ironies are produced depending on our sequence.

    In Charles Deemer’s piece we experienced this by seeing Bobby’s story first. Kate’s second.

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