Telling Story

30 09 2009
Check #1

Check #1

I bring to my art 20+ years (eh eh ehhh, no guessing on my age) as a collaborative story teller.   Specifically, I’m a professional game designer, having been in the video game industry since the very early days.   It may take a minute here to correlate the two claims, but essentially games are collaborative story telling between the game designer and the game player.   The designer creates a world and how items in the world interact, he may also create narration, characters, backstory, mood and environment, all components of a story.    But they are not story in and of them self, what is also required in games is the game player who interacts in the game world, and thereby create a unique story.   One entirely different than ever created before by any other game player.

I’m sure this is somewhat obvious for some games like Halo or World of Warcraft, but I would suggest that it is also true of all games.   Consider the game Chess.   Each time the game players get together for a game you see created a unique story of tentative openings, mid game clashes and closing death.  This story came not only from the game players but the long dead designer(s) of Chess as well.  Both elements are needed in this form of collaborative story telling.

Life Tree #7

Life Tree #7

What does this have to do with visual art or at least my art?   Coming from a collaborative story telling background, I want my visual art to accomplish similar cooperative.  I am trying to give the audience components and pieces that when combined with the audiences imagination and unique character of each individual, a story then becomes alive.  How do I do this?   This is actually a question I am asking my own self.   One thing I note is that I try to bring a human face (or back) into my pieces.   Humans are so complex, and we relate to them so well, that just one human form generates infinite numbers of stories.    I have pieces with no human forms in them, and they somehow to not seem to posses the same richness.      Another aspects is to bring in components that don’t quite fit.   Take a look at my Life Tree #7.   Certainly the glowing blue tree brings builds unique questions of story, but also what is the blue mass next to the tree?   By hooking the audience into asking these questions, I hook them also into building their own unique story.

A collaboration between myself and my audience.





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