Trans Media

Foreword

By Jeffery Bennett

557

21 April 2014

Art meets engineering in these interactive media works that transcend the boundaries of their mediums.

There is a surprise and a delight that comes from interacting with technology in non-traditional, unexpected ways. Whether it is making a symphony out of your cellphone or causing you to stand outside next to a payphone during a Category 5 hurricane, these works are pushing traditional boundaries by exploiting your expectations of what everyday devices are and can do.

In both Dialtones and Where is Danny Torrance?, your utilitarian cellphone transforms and becomes an instrument or tool for interactivity. For the alternate reality games Majestic and I Love Bees, the devices span from AOL instant messenger to fax machines to payphones. These works understood the properties of those communications mechanisms, and then proceeded to exploit them in order to interact more deeply with a story or a game.

When intended use of these devices, sensors, or actuators are shifted, new experiences and potentials for storytelling emerge. The change in mode from passivity to interactivity causes these works to transcend the boundaries of their mediums.