We had 25 responses from around the world – eg. India, Australia, Canada, USA, Turkey, Malta, Germany, UK – to our call to participate in a collaborative project. Each participant was asked to submit 3-5 short video clips on what polyphony meant to them. We didn’t over-specify the format and said that it was fine to submit informal videos shot on mobile phones.
The recordings were made in June 2021, at a time when many of us were still sheltering in place in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Though aesthetically varied, the clips were notably similar in terms of their focus on nature, family, and our relationship to place. This lent them an intimacy in relation to everyday life and made them a privilege to watch.
As an initial intervention, we (Judith and Stefano) have worked with Florian Thalhofer, the inventor of the Korsakow interactive authoring tool, to put the clips into an interactive film. This is the result: http://polyphony.korsakow.tv/. It is very much a starting point, designed to promote further dialogue and exchange among our fellow participants.
We held an online meeting to share this response, which prompted much discussion about different organisational and navigational strategies. We had organised the clips according to place but what if we led with people instead or with a more thematic approach? What does this tell us about polyphony and how might we build on this initial intervention?
Our next step is to make a second project using the same materials using a different interactive authoring tool. We will be working with Stornaway, as its founder Ru Howe, along with Florian Thalhofer, is part of this project. We will use this to compare the different ways in which the two authoring tools can help us to engage with polyphony.
Our next post will talk about what we have done with Stornaway. Once we’ve done this, we will open the project out to all participants to make their own creative responses to these initial two interventions. We will also collectively consider what to do next, at which point we will open the opportunity to participate out to new members.