Rachel Ward, 4 min., 2015
School of Interactive Art + Technology
Simon Fraser University
Producer & Filmmaker: Rachel Ward
Technical Director: Carey Dodge
Original soundtrack: Shannon Carruthers
With special thanks to:
Robert Davidson Studio
HOW THE INSTALLATION WORKS
UKULELE is an interactive sensory biography about the life cycle of one instrument, the ukulele. It is an exercise in non-linear, interactive narrative in which the story of the ukuele’s life is revealed by physically playing the instrument (such as kinship with its owner and eventual abandonment). By plucking the strings, it generates sensory visual memories — from the point of view of the instrument — where each note corresponds to one stage of the ukulele’s life cycle:
I. Conception (instrument construction/woodworking) [G string]
II. Birth (the purchase) [C string]
III. Life (with the owner/music) [E string]
IV. Senescence (shots of decaying wood/being abandoned at the house) [A string]
By focusing on themes of inanimate kinship, transpersonal narrative and embodiment, this interactive story conveys a visual non-human biography as based on “imagination” and “memory” (Pink 2009) and explore the potential of interactive digital narrative as a new tool in ethnographic research.
The 60+ videos and original soundtrack were recorded specifically for this piece.