Tim Boykett of Time's Up speaking at the Improving Reality Conference. Photograph by Roberta Mataityte
Tim Boykett of Time's Up speaking at the Improving Reality Conference. Photograph by Roberta Mataityte

PHYSICAL & ALTERNATIVE REALITY NARRATIVES (PARN)

2011-2013



UK, AUSTRIA, BELGIUM


Lighthouse are working on an EU project all about contemporary forms of storytelling.


Lighthouse are working with Time's Up (Austria), Foam (Belgium) and Blast Theory on a two-year project which explores how our concepts of narrative are changing in a post-digital world. Physical and Alternate Reality Narratives, or PARN for short, started in Brighton with the Improving Reality conference and the presentation of the physical narrative installation Stored in a Bank Vault by Time's Up. It will continue over the next two years with workshops, conferences, installations, plus the development of an alternate reality game.

Domestic Bliss - a physical narrative installation by Time's Up. Photograph by Alex Davies.
Domestic Bliss - a physical narrative installation by Time's Up. Photograph by Alex Davies.

PARN is a multi-disciplinary research project in a pan-European context, which investigates contemporary narrative practices as they emerge from the confines of the stage and screen. It deals with the possibilities and challenges of creating narratives in physical space. Today’s culture is progressively more explorative, pluralistic and networked, and needs stories that reflect our changing culture. PARN is setting itself the challenge of exploring what these stories might look like.

Lead by Austrian media lab Time’s Up, together with Lighthouse, Foam and Blast Theory, PARN will integrate two main research threads: Physical Narratives and Alternate Reality Narratives.
Physical Narrative can be understood as a theatre without actors where the spectator becomes a visitor to the space and explores the environment in order to discover the narrative embedded with it. Stored in a Bank Vault by Time’s Up is an example of Physical Narrative. Alternate Reality Narratives (ARNs) can be understood as story-worlds that impinge upon our daily reality via media and objects, forming a smooth blending of the narrative environment and everyday life.

Over the course of the next two years, the project partners will explore these threads through a series of workshops, conferences, exhibitions, outreach activities, and online projects, which takes place around Europe. The first two public manifestations of PARN were:
- Improving Reality – a conference organised by Lighthouse, Brighton, 23 September 2011
- Stored in a Bank Vault – a physical narrative installation by Time’s Up, presented in Brighton, 23 – 30 September, 2011

The lead project partners are:
- Lighthouse
- Time’s Up – a group of artists who investigate the ways in which people interact with and explore their physical surroundings. Based in Linz, Austria.
- Foam – an international network of transdisciplinary labs for speculative cultures. Based in Brussels, Belgium.
- Blast Theory – a group of artists renowned for using pervasive media, to create groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art. Based in Brighton, UK.

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