LOCAL PROJECTS, NY
Collaborative Story-Telling Reinventing The Way Stories Are Told
What the current changing technological environment offers notably, is a platform of shared experience. We are in the possesion of various media tools as a common ground to express ourselves and to get informed by others’ sharings. We seem to be hungry for this self-expressive act and therefore not afraid to experience new media tools that are being offered for our access. As those media tools are drastically changing, we seem to be more willing to become a part of what is going on. How is technology changing the way we share and tell stories on a large scale and what impact might that have on our civic, cultural, and personal lives? Nowadays, everything we come across on the web, every video, text, image is to be shared. The planning of the platforms are based on this and we are offered and sometimes even forced to share what we encounter online. Sharing has become an unstoppable act and the technology is being built considering this factor. Lives, are being public, experiences are becoming everyone’s. Collaborative storytelling, can become an entirely new kind of interpretive experience like the one Jake Barton and his colleagues at Local Projects have created for the National 9/11 Museum and Memorial in New York City. What seem to be the NY based media design firm Local Projects doing recently is deailing within the social context to create this shared experience and take it to another level and change it into a musem experience, quite distinctive from the conventional understanding of a museum. “Today, we actually have the capacity to gather those stories together, to filter them, to make meaning out of them, to curate them and to make a larger narrative that binds us all together. That’s what collaborative story-telling is.” Jake Barton of Local Projects explains the means behind this initiative. He continues with the example of how the great achievment of mankind landing on the moon has become a common experience and how everyone embraces this experience as their own. In this way, he definitely has a point. We, on the daily basis, often tend to isolate ourselves from each other, yet we all share a history that binds us all together. Our history becoming the common ground, we continue to grow from there. Our common identity is defined by those stories told by the members. So, the stories are the backbone of a society, defining who we are and paving the way for the upcoming experiences. The greatest power of collaborative story-telling lies in the ability to connect the two people together who are in desperate need to be connected, through an image, a word or an act. In 9/11 context this whole thing becomes more significant as it is leading among the greatest tragedies happened not so long ago. Today, it is easier to create this collaborative environment since we have online and mobile platforms which can turn anyone in to being a potential generator of content. We have the means to capture and to share experiences on a scale never thought to be possible before, because we also have an audience ready to be informed by our sharings.
“Collaborative Storytelling is the art of listening. Our projects help start interesting conversations, and make sense of response.” Local Projects Transforming and healing a community through inclusive storytelling, at first, may seem like too much to ask from the technology. Yet again, it is us who defines the power of this platform. As in muesum context, it is really a suitable environment to experience the contemporary ways of getting informed. The memorial of an event that belongs to the society itself, should be again shaped by the society. Not just one person but the whole society’s contribution would help create a more interactive and accurate experience as in 9/11 memorial of Local Projects. In Barton’s point of view, museums of the 21st century, should comprise those aspects; to understand and to connect via the means of contemporary communication tools. So that, one person’s experience can be shared by everyone and thus becomes everyone’s.
More about Local Projects’ Collaborative Story-telling
Collaborative storytelling project; Gallery One
Memorial guide for the 9/11 Memorial Monument & Museum