[ISEA2011] Panel: Rose­mary Comella – Look­ing for What Un­der­pins, An Analy­sis of “Bleed­ing Through: Lay­ers of Los An­ge­les” and a new pro­ject

Panel Statement

Panel: Transmedia Narrative: Modes of Digital Scholarship and Design Across Public Space

Ac­cord­ing to the so­ci­ol­o­gist Henri Lefeb­vre: “So­cial space can­not be ad­e­quately ac­counted for ei­ther by na­ture (cli­mate, site) or by its pre­vi­ous his­tory.” The in­ad­e­quacy of going back through a re­gion or city’s his­tory, to dis­cover its un­der­pin­nings, in order to ex­plain its cur­rent state, is at the heart of Bleed­ing Through: Lay­ers of Los An­ge­les, 1920-1986 (2003), an in­ter­ac­tive DVD-ROM pro­duced at Labyrinth in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nor­man M. Klein, An­dreas Kratky and my­self as di­rec­tors. With these in­ad­e­qua­cies in mind, I in­tend to un­ravel how Bleed­ing Through tries to re-pre­sent the forces of daily life and the so­cial imag­i­nary that in­flu­enced down­town Los An­ge­les and its nearby neigh­bor­hoods that at one time fed its cen­ter. Ad­di­tion­ally, I will speak about my own per­sonal “dig­i­tal city sym­phony” that I am cur­rently de­vel­op­ing that deals with is­sues of a work­ing class neigh­bor­hood in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area.

  • Rose­mary Comella, cur­rently a PhD stu­dent in a media arts prac­tice pro­gram at USC (US), is a new media artist with a back­ground in the vi­sual arts, in par­tic­u­lar in­ter­face de­sign, pho­tog­ra­phy and video. Since 2000 she has been work­ing as a re­searcher, pro­ject di­rec­tor, in­ter­face de­signer and pro­gram­mer at the Labyrinth Pro­ject. At Labyrinth, she de­vel­oped the main in­ter­face for Trac­ing the Decay of Fic­tion: En­coun­ters with a Film by Pat O’Neill, a col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­ject be­tween ex­per­i­men­tal film­maker Pat O’Neill, Kristy H.A. Kang and the Labyrinth team, and she helped di­rect The Danube Ex­o­dus: The Rip­pling Cur­rent of the River, an in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tion with film­maker Peter Forgács. She di­rected and served as pho­tog­ra­pher for Cul­ti­vat­ing Pasadena: From Roses to Re­de­vel­op­ment, an in­stal­la­tion and DVD-ROM, in­clud­ing cat­a­log, ex­hib­ited at the Pasadena Mu­seum of Cal­i­for­nia Art in 2005. Comella is cur­rently cre­ative di­rec­tor for Jew­ish Home­grown His­tory: Im­mi­gra­tion, Iden­tity and In­ter­mar­riage, a pub­lic on-line archive and multi-screen mu­seum in­stal­la­tion where users are in­vited to prac­tice their own his­to­ri­og­ra­phy by in­sert­ing their own his­to­ries and mem­o­ries—using text, pho­tographs and video—into the con­tents of the web­site. This user con­tent be­comes in­ter­wo­ven with pre­vi­ously pub­lished his­to­ries and newly up­loaded scholar con­tri­bu­tions.