The idea of the project Vessels of Memory is to create little virtual displays that pop up from different objects that used to belong to our main character, Eva Garrard. These virtual displays had to be insights of his inner world in a certain moment of Eva’s life; the idea is to tell one part of the story of Eva, in the same way visual arts tell a story, but using the interactive approach that this new medium offers.
After choosing the object from which we wanted to extract a story for Eva Garrard I chose a pearls necklace. As well, I chose to tell and invent a story that makes sense to me about her life. We didn´t know the whole story behind Eva and we, as a team, were interested in conserving the freedom to create and add something to the story of Eva, in this way, re-creating the character. In my case I chose to talk about the final part of her life, when she was already a widow, living a situation of abuse from his tenant. For this, I decided to give Eva a way out that emotionally could bring her back to life, her love for music, particularly for playing piano.
After deciding the story the next part of the process was the visualization of the story according to the possibilities of the medium, which allows 3D models, pictures, some sort of animations and in some extent audio and video.
The first obstacle is the little knowledge of new Media in general and of this technology in particular, that is to say, the use of the software Unity and the need to write code to open possibilities in this platform.
The challenge in general was to tell not only part of Eva’s story but also to communicate an emotional mood of her through the 3D display, and the interaction of the user with it. As well, the elaboration of a story in the mind of a user with only fragments is somehow an experimental narrative form for us, in the sense that the project is not following conventions from any particular narrative form, and actually is following the path of a forensic researcher of stories.
The Music in the Pearls
The AR Story that I designed for the pearls necklace attempts to build a subjective route through the emotions that Eva was feeling when she was abused and terrorized by her tenant, and as well, her loneliness because of her long gone husband Bernie; both of them pretty dark emotions. For this I included a dark 3D version of Eva’s house, using winter as an emotional landscape inside Eva’s psyche. Following the route from the house where Eva is lonely and scared she arrives to a representation of a place where she finds a piano and therefore, music, a long lost love. This is reinforced through a video that also is intended to be a subjective representation of Eva’s emotional mood.
It is interesting to build this little 3D sets and allow the user to explore the surroundings in the same way and archaeologist explores some old ruins, trying to find the story hidden in there. Through this model I offer some hints to the story, leaving mostly gaps to be filled by the user, and also to be completed with the stories told by the other objects. It is still early to know how the user is going to complete the stories and what I have as an author are expectations and curiosity.
Using the picture of young Eva on the side of the road during winter time, I wanted to suggest using only sound clues of what might happened that day. The sound plays ambient sounds of the road mixed with parts of two films that were very present during those days, Casablanca and Gone with the Wind. I do this by giving fragments of the soundtrack and also visual clues in a picture, so the user can invent their version with those elements. There is also a hidden face in that picture. Can that be the photographer who was also a little more in the life of Eva?