Labyrinth

March 9, 2008 at 1:17 pm (Uncategorized)

labyrinth.jpg

Last weekend at the Media Studies Symposium, Marsha Kinder, a professor at USC and founder of the Labyrinth Project, gave a presentation that made me really excited about the possibilities of genre-and-discipline-busting media. The Labyrinth Project puts together hybrid media projects–they blend old photographs, new photographs, video, audio, animation, text, narrative, databases, fiction, history and personal memories to come out with gorgeous, user-navigated projects on topic ranging from Russian Modernism to a detective story in historical Los Angeles to Einstein to the genes that determine aggressive behavior.

I’d studied and written a bit about hypertextual narratives and online narratives for a class in Spain, but one of my main problems with the genre is that it’s sort of clunky to navigate and often not very pretty. Some of the early examples, like Stuart Moulthrop’s Hegirascope 2, from 1997, will let you see just how much progress writers, artists and designers have made to get to works like those of the Labyrinth Project.

Many of the Labyrinth projects are available on CD Rom and DVD Rom–I know prof Fitzpatrick has a couple of them if anyone’s interested. A few, like the work-in-progress Russion Moderning seminar, will be available online. If you’ve got a few minutes, check out the Labyrinth project website to get a sense of the sort of work they’re doing. This is the stuff that makes me think it would be pretty fun to be an academic.

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