Originally commissioned by the HERA funded collaborative research project ELMCIP (2012) Borderline adds to current debates on immersion and interaction within Electronic Literature – it challenges both the solo reader and the gaming win/lose paradigm by designing a new dual interaction system where two users via improvisational action interact together within an audio-visual environment. The narrative is based on borderline personality disorder (visualizing the problems of disassociation and hysteria through image, movement and narrative structure).
This text-video-sound artwork is a performative piece concerned with time-based and improvisational action, in which two participants interact together within an audio-visual environment to gain a sense of the project’s latent narrative identities. Borderline re-deploys VJ software technologies (using MIDI with MAX-MSP) to develop a dual interaction experience that uses hand-based gesture (via two graphic tablets and their pens). Thus the project also disrupts the normative forms of both e-lit and VJing. Eschewing the hyperlink model employed generally by e-lit artists, the project instead uses gesture as the means of interaction through the pen-tablet interface. The textual elements can therefore be randomly accessed at any moment and any part of the piece can be triggered, sped up, rewound or forwarded by using the pen and tablet interface. This helps to foster a “computer system as instrument” analogy in which the participants can “improvise”, “play” and “perform” set of narrative dualities. The two participants can choose to be social: to improvise / play /perform harmoniously together or be antisocial: to be in conflict with both the narrative and indeed with each other. Their expressive actions (for example fast / slow, long / short pen gestures) will significantly affect their narrative agency, immersion and comprehension.
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