Glorianna Davenport, MA from Hunter Collect, is Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory. She founded the Interactive Cinema group (1987-2004), as well as the Media Fabrics group, which she directs. She is a trained sculptor and documentary filmmaker, and is internationally renowned for her work in digital media forms. Her recent research explores the creation of customizable storyteller systems, able to serve and adapt to a wide audience.
“New technology has brought new opportunities for overlaying real physical spaces with active agencies of history, culture, and personal storytelling. . . . The participant audience can become immersed in an evocative sensory surround or can gather bits and pieces of surrogate experience to be later used in acts of creation, consumption, and sharing” (6).
This essay explains places’ rich characters and stories, and gives a few examples of her work. For Davenport, places in stories often express the driving psychology of that tale. It can be imbued with a sense of everything from hope, to trauma, to horror, and back around to romance. Likewise, in new media art works, “place can and often does take on an active role approximating that of a character” (2) and audience members transform into agents who can influence the path and its stories through “acts of navigation, selective gestures, or other methods of communicating desire to the responsive system” (2).