Ellis, Andrew
Completion Date: 

Chinatown is a site-specific interactive narrative in Chinatown, Boston. The project uses QR codes to 'tag' stories told through videos that a participant can access using a camera on their phone to scan the individual codes. After a participant watches the video, they are prompted to record a video, sound or take photographs and create their own QR codes to leave in Chinatown for others to experience. The hope for this project was to create an ongoing interactive story of the people, places and food in Chinatown.

Much of my work in the Dynamic Media Institute has been about mapping experiences of a 'place.' This project allowed me to explore the different possibilities of mapping stories to a specific space in order to understand what made it a 'place.' I spent several weeks collecting content by photographing and recording audio of the people I interacted with. I interviewed a handful of people including a hairdresser, a restaurant worker and a fishmonger. Through these interactions I created a non-linear story separated into ten video segments for a participant to experience using a mobile device in the space where the interactions occurred.

After editing the content, I uploaded the videos to Youtube and then generated Quick Response (QR) codes from each video URL. I then designed a sticker with the QR code and basic instructions to download the QR code reader for the iPhone. The stories could then be experienced in any order that a participant wished as they located the stickers throughout Chinatown. Inspirations for this project included Yellow Arrow, Itinerant by Teri Rueb, and Wasser by Stefan Schemat.


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