[ISEA2011] Panel: Kristy Kang (moderator) – Transmedia Narrative: Modes of Digital Scholarship and Design Across Public Space

Panel Statement

Chair Per­son: Kristy Kang
Pre­sen­ters: Rose­mary Comella & An­dreas Kratky

This panel will pre­sent a body of work by media artists, schol­ars and col­lab­o­ra­tors who com­prise The Labyrinth Pro­ject – a Los An­ge­les based re­search ini­tia­tive on in­ter­ac­tive nar­ra­tive at the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s School of Cin­e­matic Arts. Under the di­rec­tion of cul­tural the­o­rist Mar­sha Kinder since 1997, Labyrinth has been work­ing at the pres­sure point be­tween the­ory and prac­tice. With media artists Rose­mary Comella, Kristy H.A. Kang and Scott Mahoy work­ing as cre­ative di­rec­tors, Labyrinth been pro­duc­ing award-win­ning mul­ti­me­dia pro­jects that jux­ta­pose fic­tional and his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tive in provoca­tive ways. In the process, Labyrinth has pi­o­neered a new form of dig­i­tal schol­ar­ship com­bin­ing archival cul­tural his­tory and artis­tic prac­tice. Their “data­base doc­u­men­taries” an­i­mate the archive and make his­tory come alive for a wide range of au­di­ences across the pub­lic sphere. Labyrinth de­signs their in­ter­ac­tive works as trans­me­dia net­works—in­stal­la­tions, DVD-ROMs, and web­sites. Their pro­jects ap­pear not only in cy­ber­space but also in the net­worked pub­lic spaces of mu­se­ums, sci­ence cen­ters, and other pub­lic venues. Labyrinth’s pro­jects all grow out of broad, multi-tiered col­lab­o­ra­tions with artists, schol­ars, sci­en­tists, stu­dents, archivists, mu­se­ums and cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions. In the process, Labyrinth has de­vel­oped three sig­na­ture gen­res: the dig­i­tal city sym­phony that ex­plores urban space through lay­ers of time; the in­ter­ac­tive mem­oir that probes the net­worked mem­o­ries and lived ex­pe­ri­ence of com­plex in­di­vid­u­als; and in­ter­ac­tive sci­ence ed­u­ca­tion that ex­plores the in­ter­play be­tween bi­ol­ogy and cul­ture and the re­spec­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion sys­tems of art and sci­ence. Sev­eral of their works com­bine these gen­res. This panel will ex­plore the di­verse ap­proaches and work­ing method­olo­gies for de­sign­ing trans­me­dia nar­ra­tive ex­pe­ri­ences across a va­ri­ety of pub­lic spaces by show­cas­ing se­lected pro­jects from Labyrinth’s reper­toire of in­ter­ac­tive cul­tural his­to­ries and by pre­sent­ing emerg­ing works pro­duced by col­lab­o­ra­tors and mem­bers of the Labyrinth ini­tia­tive.

  • Kristy H.A. Kang is an award winning Korean-American media artist and educator at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where she is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Media Arts and Practice. Ms. Kang has lectured and taught multimedia workshops internationally at universities in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  Since 1997, she has been a Creative Director with The Labyrinth Project research initiative on interactive narrative and digital scholarship at USC.  Contributing her background in digital arts and animation, she has served as project director and designer on a range of collaborative projects at Labyrinth. These works have been exhibited internationally and received numerous awards including the Jury Award for New Forms at the 2004 Sundance Online Film Festival which she received as co-director with filmmaker Carroll Parrot Blue and The Labyrinth Project for The Dawn at My Back:Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing–an interactive memoir which explores the cultural history of race in Houston by juxtaposing official histories with Blue’s personal narrative and family archives. Kang was the director of Labyrinth’s two science visualization projects A Tale of Two MAO Genes: Exploring the Biology and Culture of Aggression and Anxiety, a collaboration with molecular biologist Jean Chen Shih, which is being used as a model for interactive science education at USC and universities in China and Taiwan, and Three Winters in the Sun: Einstein in California – an interactive installation about Albert Einstein exhibited at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Among Labyrinth’s projects on the city Kang co-directed are The Danube Exodus: The Rippling Currents of the River, a cinematic installation with Hungarian documentary filmmaker Peter Forgács which premiered at The Getty Center, and Tracing the Decay of Fiction: Encounters with a Film by Pat O’Neill–an exploration of the Ambassador Hotel and it’s surrounding neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles. Kang’s research interests include spatial and mobile narrative, digital humanities and transnational media studies between the U.S. and East Asia. Video Excerpts from “Tracing the Decay of Fiction: Encounters with a Film by Pat O’Neill” by Pat O’Neill, Rosemary Comella, Kristy H.A. Kang and The Labyrinth Project (2002). dornsife.usc.edu/labyrinth    kristykang.com