Door into the Dark
Interactive set design for a blindfolded documentary experience
***WINNER OF THE 2015 STORYSCAPES AWARD AT TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL and selected for the DIGITAL DOZEN by Columbia University***
THIS IS A LABYRINTH. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS FOLLOW THE ROPE.
“My favourite interactive installation to date… achieves a level of emotional empathy to the subjects’ stories rarely experienced in interactive work”
LOC DAO, NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA INTERACTIVE
Door into the Dark is an immersive documentary experience about what it means to be lost in an age of infinite information.
Designed in close collaboration with the producers Anagram, the set designer Felicity Hickson and engineers Aaron Robinson and Dan Halahan.
Participants experience the architecture of their surroundings using sound, smell and touch alone. Through this they are invited into the world of real characters that each have an intimate relationship with disorientation.
Designing a space that people feel but never see was a liberation. Never before have I had to walk around a friend’s flat blindfolded to research a project. The resulting experience is challenging, surprising and deeply moving.
Blindfolded participants inch their way along a taut length of rope while receiving personal commands generated by iBeacons – indoor geo-positional tools which use Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with a smart phone concealed in the blindfold. When the rope abruptly ends they are given the option to step forward into the unknow. Depending on their choices, their journey triggers different immersive soundscapes. Participants are warned of obstacles ahead and tipped off about hidden pathways along the route. A secret twist at the end however turns the entire experience on its head.
Door Into the Dark is the first piece of promenade theatre where set design and documentary work hand in hand with the latest iBeacon technology to heighten the sensoral experience of true stories.
An iteration of the piece was presented at the iDocs Conference at The Watershed on 21st & 22nd March 2014.
The premiere was at Sheffield International Documentary Festival in June 2014. Door into the Dark was commissioned to be part of the Storyscapes sections of TriBeCa Film Festival, April 2015.
Awards: Best Interactive Documentary, TriBeCa Film Festival 2015