BBC R&D

Posted by Ian Forrester, Tony Churnside on , last updated

Alexis Kirke a member of the Interdisciplinary centre for computer music research at plymouth university and known for the film Many Worlds, a film which uses biometric sensors to explore branching narrative. Alexis stopped by the North Lab today to to show, for the 2nd time ever, a screening of Many Worlds; "the film which watches you..."

Many Worlds

The short film was a first for the director and writer Alexis Kirke but a really interesting concept.

The 15-minute story -- called Many Worlds -- centres around two students, Charlie and Olivia who go to their friend Connie's house for her 19th birthday. They find a sealed, coffin-sized box in her bedroom with no sign of their friend. It appears as though Connie, a physics student, has sealed herself into the box with a cyanide gas-capsule connected to a Geiger counter. At any point a burst of cosmic rays in the atmosphere could trigger the cyanide and kill Connie; in fact it could have already happened.

Many Worlds sensor subjects

We were treated to an exclusive showing in Media City, while 3 women and 1 man were connected to the bio-sensors. Alexis was surprised as bio-sensor data took us down an unscreened branch, different to the one shown in Plymouth's Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival at the start of the year.

Many Worlds

After this Alexis showed a version showing all the different versions side by side like that of mike figgs timecode. This was followed by a panel debate about the issues faced when creating experiences like this.

Many World's is similar in direction to the work we have been doing in the perceptive media space. It too uses implicit data captured via sensors to change the media. However, there are hard limits to branching narrative which perceptive media deals with in a different way. This all came up in a very energetic panel discussion.

Many Worlds Panel

There was a lot of questions about the nature of sensors in the living room, how effective they are and what levels of data could be captured. There was also a big question mark around privacy from Salford University students.

These type of questions are challenging to answer and we are actively researching them through our work into perceptive media. We hope to have more informed answers in the near future.

It is a joy seeing how other academics are exploring these concepts. Thank you to Alexis Kirke for coming up and showcasing Many Worlds.

All these questions and many more were actively researching through our work into perceptive media. We hope to have more informed answers in the near future.

It was a joy seeing other related works and see the direction they took. Thank you to Alexis Kirke for coming up and showcasing Many Worlds to us.

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