[ISEA2011] Paper: Alexandra Antonopoulou & Eleanor Dare – Phi territories: neighbourhoods of collaboration and participation


The Phi Books Project is a collaborative endeavour between Alexandra Antonopoulou, a designer and children’s book writer-illustrator and Eleanor Dare, a computer artist. We would like to present the development of the Phi Books Project, showing its different stages, from the initial formulation of algorithmic fictions to technologically mediated and embodied systems for collaboration.

The paper will outline how the Phi Books have used the house as a metaphor for interdisciplinary collaboration and how the two researcher-artists use narrative, making and performance to explore how borders, walls and doors facilitate collaboration. This has lead to the production of books and interactive material produced by the authors and the participants, which are both fictional and imaginative while also being methodologically reflective. These mediums have been presented and produced in conferences and symposia in the form of performances and  interactive installations in which the Phi Books deploy recursion and collective re-mediation. We have also developed performative and collborative software, enabling us to explore and critique notions of consent and participation. Now we are merging the physical with the virtual by asking participants to perform their own stories via a motion capture system. With this system we map participant’s movements as mathematical vectors from which we can extrapolate new layers of embodied narrative and subjective articulation.

Our common practice, therefore is grounded in a reconsideration of the ways in which interactivity and collaboration can be deployed and defined. These issues will be outlined and clarified in an interactive and participatory presentation.

  • Alexandra Antonopoulou is a designer and visiting lecturer in the UK, as well as a course leader for the ‘Orientation to MA’ course at the University of the Arts London. At the same time, she is devising and running workshops in museums, primary and high schools (as part of her PhD research in ‘story-making in designing and learning’ – Goldsmiths-University of London). Her design background varies from graphic design, to fashion and children’s books writing and illustration. She has also been involved in Interaction Design research units.
  • Eleanor Dare, Goldsmiths University of London, UK, Department of Computing, is a fine artist and lecturer in Arts Computing at Goldsmiths. Her work is concerned with embodiment and epistemology.   nicenewblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/nice-new-blog.html

Full text (PDF) p. 109-116