Remediated Places. AAA Nov06 script. Draft 3 and 4

This version has been drastically cut (mostly my prolog) to be able to come close to the 12 min limits that Michael wants.

You can download this version which is in the classic script with words on the left and scene and media on the right RP for AAA real script in 2 columns

Senses of Places: Remediations from text to digital performance. Script. v.3

The Performance
Prelude. 1 min

Ruth: In the 15 minutes allotted to us I will be orchestrating a performance of the Remediated Places Project. The project aims to share multisensory experiences, construction and memories of places, specifically Cultural Heritage sites.
In our project we focus on digital remediation especially the concept that digital technologies and media can be (but often are NOT) harnessed to engage multiple senses in the experience and exploration of places in ways which encourage ambiguity, multivocality, critical thinking, and complex exploration.
Setting and Action and Media on screen: The Remediation of archaeological and heritage places from Remediation by Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin in which the word Remediation has nothing to do with healing but is created from “mediate”, with “re” expressing the idea of mediating what has already been mediated by media – a distancing from the immediate (often tangible) medium, with an effect of empowering and authenticating the original or critiquing it, depending on the nature of remediation).
The project has been first developed at the archaeological excavation of the 9000-year old mound of Çatalhöyük, Turkey. This site, or rather its North end, will be the focus of our short performance.
Setting: on screen: photo and plan of Catal

The website for the project is:
Setting: website screenshot/address

A text describing more about the project and the various sources of inspiration for it . is available for download at the project website.
Setting: ?on-screen? Inspirations: in New Media database narratives and recombinant historiography, and theories of place and multisensory approaches to it.
This presentation explores the different formats in which a database of media, including videowalks, might be used to create a multisensory approach to archaeological and heritage places. The formats include on-site installation and on-line interactive website that are brought together in the third format – this live performance.
We like to think that what we are going to give you is a taste of what Sarah Pink calls a “cultural performance…..’more like improvisational theatre than a play because (and here she quotes Jack Ruby) ‘the reduction of culture to text systematically excludes the embodied and the sensory knowledge that is at the core of culture”.
For now, sit back and take what you will from our presentation..
Scene 00: 1.5 min
Narrator: I need 4 volunteers who don’t mind getting themselves hot and sticky and dusty and one volunteer with a laptop and an Internet connection
Setting: A group of 4 people stand in front of the screen in “vacating in hot, sunny exotica clothes”. They hold guidebooks, one a video iPod, cameras, camcorders. Maybe they know each other. A fifth “visitor” is off to the side: an Internet “visitor”
Media: Maybe Play RAVE Getting There movie or R’s Flash trip. Mellaart famous pics (from EAA2002)
Narrator Welcome to Çatalhöyük. You’ve read lot about it in books, seen pictures, maybe even movies, visited the websites. Now you have bought a guidebook (wave guidebook). Did you see the intro movie in the Museum? (respond?) Now it’s time to begin your tour. Follow your tour-guide. Good luck.
Oh there he goes, better catch him up….
Scene 1: the bad experience 1.5 min
Scene 1a: tourguide but no tourguide:
Setting and Action: Walkers run to catch up, don’t know where they are going. Nothing is said. Internet guy is flailing around on the computer or is still stuck on the first page of the website.
Media: movie of early morning walk up to TP and/or Mellaart from guardhouse
Scene 1b: guide but wrong language
Setting and Action: Walkers are all crowding back with confused and disgruntled looks.
RET: You’re back quickly. Did you see enough?
Walker: we had no idea what we were supposed to look at. Our guide never said anything. Are we supposed to look at the guidebook? Which way is north anyway?
RET: Well you can’t just walk around the site by yourselves, can you! BUT OK we’ll see if there is someone around to guide you. Follow them quickly or you’ll miss the commentary. (they move off) You did say you knew Turkish didn’t you?
Setting and Action: Walkers start trudging on same route
Media: movie of early morning walk up to TP and/or Mellaart from guardhouse (preferably choose female “guide”); Turkish tour commentary.

Scene 2: guide with information. 1.5 min
Scene 2a: Guardhouse to North with Info commentary
Setting and action: Walkers are all crowding back with even more confused and disgruntled looks than before and loud mutterings about not understanding what was being said.
RET: My goodness, you’re back again. You couldn’t understand what was being said? That’s strange… We don’t have anyone else to guide you. Oh well, I’ve got the very answer. It’s our new self-guided (but escorted) tour of the site. You are going to take a tour of the site. Your first destination is the North area. You with the iPod can hear some information in English or Turkish during the tour, and you can tell the others. You on the Internet can see some QTVRs.
Action: Show a conventional map of the East Mound, on which is superimposed the SMM map of nodes. The walkers start off with their iPods and miscellaneous earphones. As they walk off:
RET: You must keep to the paths and keep up with your escort; do not pick anything up; you can take photographs.
Media: SMM map of nodes. Video of Videowalk#1. Ian’s audio commentary for this leg (?and his intro?)
Action: Everyone starts walking uphill in the heat and dust. Walk speeds up.
Bla…bla bla…..
Disembodied voice (RET) Are they listening to what he is saying? What are they looking at – the path itself, the landscape, the destination at the top of the mound? What are they thinking?
Action: Bubble text superimposed on walk mirrors what the walkers are thinking and perhaps muttering. Ian’s commentary is still going
Walker mutters (Ian’s voice still talking, video walk still going))
• It’s hot
• I’ve got dust in my shoes
• Should have brought a hat and some water
• What did he mean about all those people underfoot
• Just to get to the top, I’m out of shape; archaeologists must be fit;
• This mound was flat! that’s weird
• Wonder what’s for lunch
• Sure would like a toilet….perhaps not….

Scene 2b: around but outside the 4040 area
Setting and Action: They reach the top, hot and sweating. Walk past Building 1/5 to 4040 area; Shaded areas. Stand at edge of excavation area crowding in to look at the archaeologists. Ian’s commentary continues, but fades in and out as walkers lose concentration.
Disembodied voice: Stand back from the edge. Please do not disturb the archaeologists with your questions – listen to the commentary or read your guidebook.
Walkers mutter now a bit clearer and louder:
• Wish we could get closer.
• I don’t know what I’m photographing.
• I don’t get it. What’s going on. I’m confused.
• It’s cool here at least
• At least we’re out of the sun. I think I’ll just sit down over here (reprimand)
• How do they know where to dig.
Media: Videowalk #4 around 4040 area. Ian commentary for this area.
Walker: There has to be more to this place than what we are hearing and seeing. We are so detached from what’s going on. We’re just observers. I want to participate and be actively engaged; otherwise I’m afraid I find this a bit boring. And that doesn’t mean I just want to ask questions. I want to feel the place and hear its stories at the same time.
Action: Other walkers are getting restless; background music gradually drowns out Ian’s commentary as they lose it. They all leave and start back downhill
Internet guy: I don’t feel a thing. I watch the movie and hear the commentary…… It’s OK
Media: ?play Goldfish Bowl movie? Background music of increasing volume.
Scene 3 Transformation – the curtain 30 sec
Setting and action: Quick backwards movie takes us back to the start, like a vortex. Audience are swept off their feet, tumble in a pile. Chimera curtain comes up and covers screen.
Disembodied voice: So you want to work a little harder, do you? So what would help to engage you in the process of creating this heritage place at Çatalhöyük
Setting and action: some kind of swirling words as each audience person makes a suggestion that ends up in the gradual clarification of our interface. Spoken words as well
Sound increases; change of perspective to user’s view of map with walks; this is gradually swamped by the roof of the South Shelter.
Media: “Shelter Ballet” (toggle chaos of nodes and paths to order = passage through); map of video walks; the Chimera curtain. Something like (or using); Screen Brown Univ CAVE: e.g., participation, we are stakeholders too; passion; presence; share; I want to contribute; I have something to say; are you listening? I don’t want to be controlled, etc.
Scene 4 Do you want to take a walk? Walk #1 again. 2 min
RET: Here is a map of nodes and paths between them at Çatalhöyük. Nodes are more obvious locations on this mound where you can stop and watch. But we encourage you to think of the paths between as places of interest. You can stop at places on the paths and listen or watch or feel. Would you like to take a walk? I suggest Walk #1. On this drawing you can see where we’ll guide you and where you might want to pause and think about things. It’s the same walk you took a few minutes ago…
Setting and action: One of the beams of the roof morphs into a map view of Walk 1, with a node at each end: GuardHouse and North, and pauses along the way. Walkers start to walk, looking at their iPods and camcorders. Internet Guy gets it on his/her laptop.
Media: “Shelter Ballet”; plan of Walk #1
Disembodied Voice: Let me share with you some of the sensory experiences and responses that I have as I take Walk #1.
Audience: But who are you?
DV: I am an archaeologist who works at Çatalhöyük. I have created this walk –it’s one of our ready-made vignettes – from bringing together videos and images and audio.
Media: VideoWalk #1; superimposefade in videos of dust, owl, shoes, gophers, interview audio, ambient sound (I need to work this out for next draft)
Scene 5: Place, People and Memory – the BACH house 2 min
Walker: Isn’t a sense of place about other people as well as your own sensual perception and bodily experience?
DV: But look, we have another layer of sharing – about memory, people remembering Catal, memories of earlier excavations, even memories of some very early residents… Let’s choose Walk #3 – the BACH house.
Setting and Action: Reach top of hill – North area. Roof-ballet to show position of Walk #3. Videowalk #3 starts at the North, past Building 1/5 on left and 4040 on right to BACH area with RET pointing out stuff (no sound), Bach music playing instead.
Media: VideoWalk #3; some Bach music;
Walker1: But what is she pointing out? There’s nothing there. And Dr. Hodder never said anything about an excavation in this spot.
Walker 2: and why is that Bach music playing
DV: it’s to remind you that this was the area where the BACH team excavated Building 3 for 7 years. In 2004 it was filled in and now there is nothing to see. But for 7 years people lived here….
Action: videos of Conversations; Mira’s story; Death of BACH house
Media: videos of Conversations; Mira’s story; Death of BACH house

Scene 6: Behind the Scenes: Database Narratives. 1.5 min
Walker: What’s behind this? How do you bring in all this stuff? How do you select it?
Action: show the Database (or rather its illusion)
RET: A bit of a serious interlude: In addition to media (photographic and drawn images, video, texts, etc) that have been created during the course of archaeological excavation and other research by the various teams working, we have created specific media for the project, including a complex of videowalks (otherwise known as peripatetic video), video conversations with members of the archaeological teams on their remembered sense perception, ambient sound clips, voice-over commentaries. These media have been brought together in a relational database. In the Remediated Places Project we like to draw out these innumerable fragments of sense, memory and information from the database and recombine or remix them into tours with narratives that are not random but make sense since they are situated within categories and organized according to predetermined associations to share past and present places. These database narratives (or “digital histories”) are always changing, they are multivocal, and they are open-ended, but they are created on the base of the same data. So we want to hear your narratives and how you make sense of them.

Scene 7: User Testing 3 min
Setting: Back to the Interface/SouthShelter Roof
RET: Welcome back. Was that a better experience?
Walker 1:It was much more fun. I’d like to choose for myself what to look at and listen to while I’m walking?
DV: Sure you can
Setting: The interface now shows the full interface with all the options and icons
Walker 1: I choose Walk 1 with this video clip from foot ballet, some of Professor Hodder’s informative commentary, and an old interview with James Mellaart.
Action: the walkers do the walk 1 (speeded up) with these options
Walker 2: Why did you make these choices. Look they suggest you talk about that. Your choices don’t make sense. James Mellaart didn’t excavate in the North. Ian just said they were the first to excavate in this area in 1993. So Mellaart never would have walked up there.
Walker 1: How do you know he didn’t walk here up this path. And what about those guys walking up this path 9000 years ago. I never would have even started along this path (ha ha) of thought if I hadn’t chosen these items at random.
Walker 3: Maybe you can upload your idea of Mellaart wandering around the site to the website when you get home. Someone might respond.
Internet Guy: This is great! I can experience the site from my armchair and I can take my time and get some guidance on creating my walks. Here I don’t have to jump at just anything at random. I’m someone who likes things to make sense immediately.
Media:Mellaart video; Hodder commentary; foot-ballet video;
RET or MA: We have created filters in the database through tagging various parameters that prevent a user from making random remixes that make no sense; for example Ian Hodder’s commentary on Building 5 can only be used for VideoWalk#2, and James Mellaart’s commentary on the “map” fresco at Catal makes sense in the South Area of the site. These tags can be overridden; users can create tours that are uninformed, unguided, random and whimsical. We think, however, that, as the users/visitors create their own tour or narrative from the project database it is important that they think about their choice of media sets and the rationale for their remix. How would they make their tour meaningful to others. As we have seen from the preceding discussion, a clip that seems to be inappropriate in a remix for a walk can actually become the start of an interesting exploration of a recombinant history.


~ by chimeraspider on November 13, 2006.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: