Storytelling without a medium: an intervention-based artistic project and documentary created and carried out in summer 2014 in Edinburgh, UK
OVERVIEW: How can you tell a story? What means and methods will you arm yourself with? What will happen if the story is simply set free to wander with no final destination and no medium?
This project is a research on public urban environment, on storytelling and on Story as an independent, living and developing substance. We create an immaterial artwork, living in the imaginary of the urban community: a narrative, shared and experienced in the life of the polis.
The project incorporates various forms of artistic expression, implemented through a series of interconnected interventions developing in time in different real spaces with local input. Altogether, they tell a story of a character from a foreign background finding himself in Edinburgh.
The project is carried out by our team of four people: a filmmaker, a sound designer, an environmental designer and a producer. We aim to involve in our project the local community and local artists who would enrich and develop our story. As a wrap-up, we will present a documentation of the work we developed, in a form of a documentary and a photography exhibition.
OBJECTIVES: The main objective of the project is to create a narrative within the conscience of the city, experimenting with different methods and scales of storytelling and to observe the life-cycle of a certain story incorporating as many art forms as possible. Our objective is, through a series of art interventions, to tell a story to the city. A story of a fictional character that inhabit the same space as its citizens. We aim to tell about our character, as if he was a real person we once heard about. On the other hand, we also focus on the content of our story and the artistic statement we make through it.
Our narrative focuses on the life of the contemporary generation of immigrants and respective issues of the adaptation to a new place.
HOW WE TELL THE STORY: The methods of visualization and narrative of the story subtly integrate the characters and events with everyday life of the city, make them present and known in the conscience of the citizens. Each character becomes “a friend of a friend” or “someone I have heard of”. This kind of narrative is akin to a gossip or an urban legend.
This story is a celebration of the multicultural world, not in a big scale, but in a minor, personal scale, a manifestation of an individual becoming bigger than the boundaries of his culture, becoming a citizen of the world.
The main interest of our work is a social intervention, aiming to reach a point where the collective mind of Edinburgh (or a part of the city) has met the characters, has heard about them, knows about their existence, just as if they were real people. A story is immaterial, it exists in mind only. The narrative does not depend on physical devices, they only exist to manifest it, to bring the characters to life, afterwards, they live in the conscience of people, the conscience of the city. The story is imprecise, like a fable, where everyone adds details of their own, it evolves organically.
This concept leaves an open door to work with local artists in order to engage them in the project. The community can take part both as an audience and as a storyteller, being welcome to write the lines of these two lives, to use new methods to spread the word, to intervene in-between the story and the social context, acting as a buffer, the intermediary between the two.