“Bleeding Through the Layers of Los Angeles, 1920-1986,” a DVD-ROM produced by The Labyrinth Project at the USC Annenberg Center for Communication, has received a special award in the New Media category at the Split Film Festival in Croatia.
“Bleeding Through” was conceived as a co-production between The Labyrinth Project, the Zentrum f�r Kunst und Medientechnologie and cultural historian Norman Klein.
The narrative can be navigated in three ways. Positioned within a small window, author Norman Klein tells the story of Molly, a fictional character based on a real-life person who may have murdered one of her husbands. Klein invites users to collaborate with him in writing this fictional life.
As collaborators, users can explore what Molly never noticed – the back stories of real people whose mini-memoirs preserve histories that otherwise might have been lost.
The project leads users to reflect on database storytelling and its cultural implications, particularly when set within L.A.’s urban dream factory.
The contrast between past and present is most dramatic in the back stories, where the user can slide fluidly between “bleed-throughs,” old and new photographs of the same Los Angeles cityscape taken from precisely the same angle, watching buildings instantaneously emerge or vanish.
Drawing on hundreds of photographs, newspaper clippings and films from USC’s archives � with additional material from personal collections and the collections of the Los Angeles Public Library and Automobile Club of Southern California � “Bleeding Through” helps users refigure their vision of Los Angeles, particularly if it is based primarily on representations from mainstream Hollywood movies.
The annual Split Film Festival serves as a venue for new, innovative, personal, experimental and radical works in film, video and new media. The scope of the works entering the competition ranges from projects made on a shoe-string budget to major studio releases.
The festival showcases screenings of selected films, videos, CD-ROM and DVD-ROMs, installations, performances, retrospectives, workshops and discussions.
Conceived and directed by Marsha Kinder, the Labyrinth Project is an art collective and research initiative on interactive narrative at USC’s Annenberg Center for Communication. It works to expand the language, art, culture and theory of this emerging field as well as to establish a training ground and an R&D site for content development.
For more about Labyrinth, go to http://www.annenberg.edu/labyrinth.