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6 billion Others: a project that “works”

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I have just posted an entry in the Archive about Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s new project: 6 milliards d’Autres (6 billion Others).

I truely believe this is a fascinating project (you should check the details by reading the entry in the archive) because it uses database narrative in a very powerful way.

To start with it is not trying to “tell” a story. The 5,000 people that have been interviewed throughout the world are speaking about their believes, their notion of love, of religion… and the meaning of life. Those are universal topics that are very easy to follow without a specific need of guidance: it is not disturbing to jump from one grab to another, nor from one person to another, since we are just following a sort of stream of thoughts…

For me database narrative really works when it allows us to jump between people and feelings- rather than between narratives. For example Florian Thalhofer’s [The Love Story Project] really works for me for the same reasons: it allows us to jump between people that speak about their experience of love… this feels quite natural… While Manovich’s database narrative (see Softcinema) looses me completely because it is attempting to be a narrative and there it confuses, and looses, me.

I suspect this is also the big difference between interactive documentary and interactive narrative: the documentary has a grip on reality that serves as a motivation for the user (if you are interested in a topic you will have a good motivation from the start), while the narrative only works if the “story” is interesting (and this is not guarantee when interactivity steps in).

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2009

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