[ISEA2011] Panel: Chris Hales – In­ter­act­ing with the mov­ing image: ex­pe­ri­ences and out­comes of teach­ing ‘in­ter­ac­tive film’ in the Baltic States

Panel Statement

Panel: New Media Art Education in Central and Eastern Europe in the Last Two Decades: experiments and transition

This paper pre­sents the re­sults ob­tained and ex­pe­ri­ences gained through the teach­ing of var­i­ous short work­shops in the Baltic States (as well as else­where) in the spe­cific com­bi­na­tion of in­ter­ac­tiv­ity and mov­ing image. The work­shops com­bine the­o­ret­i­cal and prac­ti­cal ap­proaches – a func­tional pro­to­type of an ‘in­ter­ac­tive film’ will be pro­duced by stu­dents – and have been run by the au­thor in Tallinn, Tartu, Riga, Liepaja and Vil­nius from 2002 until the pre­sent day. Usu­ally these work­shops have been in of­fi­cial ed­u­ca­tional es­tab­lish­ments – prin­ci­pally those of art and de­sign – al­though more openly re­cruited work­shops have also taken place. An in­her­ent char­ac­ter­is­tic of mak­ing an in­ter­ac­tive film is that a com­bi­na­tion of spe­cific dis­ci­plines are re­quired to cre­ate the final out­come, pri­mar­ily film­mak­ing, in­ter­ac­tion de­sign, and nar­ra­tiv­ity. Meth­ods of teach­ing this, in which a work­shop par­tic­i­pant may not have any ex­pe­ri­ence or back­ground knowl­edge of one or more of these dis­ci­plines, and in which col­lab­o­ra­tion would be de­sir­able, will be dis­cussed. De­spite the some­what spe­cific-sound­ing ob­jec­tive of these work­shops, the re­sult­ing arte­facts have dis­played a huge va­ri­ety of final forms and for­mats, in­clud­ing in­stal­la­tion art, live per­for­mance, in­ter­ac­tive DVD and web­sites. Al­though the scope of the final arte­fact is in­evitably lim­ited given a one or two week timescale, some of the prod­ucts have un­der­gone sub­se­quent ex­ploita­tion. This has oc­curred through pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tion, pub­lic per­for­mance, re­me­di­a­tion, and ex­pan­sion/re­make at a later date into a more sub­stan­tial prod­uct. Work­shop out­comes will be com­pared and con­trasted to pick out whether clear dif­fer­ences are ap­par­ent ac­cord­ing firstly to the vary­ing pro­file of the stu­dents in­volved, and sec­ondly be­tween re­sults from work­shops in the Baltic States and those (also run by the au­thor) in other Eu­ro­pean coun­tries – some of which have in­volved a de­lib­er­ately en­forced mix­ture of stu­dents from both artis­tic and tech­ni­cal back­grounds. The paper also dis­cusses whether the types of out­come have changed dur­ing the last seven years as a re­sult of de­vel­op­ments in tech­nol­ogy and so­cial media.

  • Dr. Chris Hales is a spe­cial­ist in the ‘in­ter­ac­tive mov­ing image’, as prac­ti­tioner, ed­u­ca­tor and re­searcher. His in­ter­ac­tive films have been pre­sented in­ter­na­tion­ally since 1995 both as in­stal­la­tions and as live cin­e­matic per­for­mances and in 2008 he ex­hib­ited most of his films in a 9-room ex­hi­bi­tion as part of the Prague Tri­en­nale of Con­tem­po­rary Art. Since com­plet­ing his PhD “Re­think­ing the In­ter­ac­tive Movie” at SMART­lab (Uni­ver­sity of East Lon­don, UK) in 2006 he has re­mained at SMART­lab as a Post Doc­toral Re­search Fel­low. He writes fre­quently about ‘in­ter­ac­tive mov­ing image’ and has taught over 100 short work­shop courses on this sub­ject in nu­mer­ous in­sti­tu­tions in Eu­rope. A re­cent re­search pro­ject was to re­dis­cover de­tails of the Czecho­slo­va­kian ‘Ki­noau­tomat’ of 1967 and to help it to be per­formed again in pub­lic and to be pub­lished on DVD.