Book Apps; i-Pad Screens & Play     

 

The POV Hackathon 7 gave us the opportunity to develop some early prototypes for interactive apps (see video directly below) which would be incorporated into The Dandelion King transmedia project. The 'Encounter App' allows readers/users to 1. Watch films which are related to the story and history of the book. 2. Experiment with a first person 'encounter group' experience putting users into a brief historical moment when self expression became a popular sport. The story of Encounter Groups is in many ways a story of how political mobilization was translated into 'self-actualization' a progression which has multiple impacts in how we imagine both identity and politics.  This play links back to my mother's life, with different emotional play giving the player different moments in my mom's life, illustrating in intimate terms how different emotional behavior shapes more material experience. 

The Dandelion King, a trans-media graphic novel; including short films, archival media & interactive book APP, all of which contribute to a divorce biography chronicling a social history of the 1970's.

Based on the space of the physical spaces depicted in each chapter fold-out, the encounter app. is an interactive iphone app. which allows users to create emotional sounds back and forth in small group setting, mimicking the emotional exchanges which are common in small group therapeutic settings. The app. allows users to shake, tap, and stroke their devices in ways which comfort, provoke or are expressive towards each other and the group. After playing, and dependent upon user play, the user is given a cut-screen film-short which brings the user back into the world of the graphic novel, showing the author’s mother as she leaves with different scenarios based upon the levels of empathy, assertiveness or expression in the user’s game play. It is choose your own adventure based upon therapeutic and emotional game play. 

After the divorce, my mom left the kids at her mother's house, leaving shiny and nervous to spill her guts at the local encounter group. I imagine her clutching her ubiquous pocket book and wondering what she was doing there. Half cynicism and hopelessness, half full of excitiment to find herself no longer trapped in the narrow life of a professor's wife. 

The Unitarian Church in Whittier, California was a refuge for the rare hippy in Whittier's narrow world of familiar faces, church ladies and childhood friends. When the recreation room wasn't in use as a therapeutic sacrament, they had school plays & naked dances on alternate Sundays.  

Enough intimacy in Encounter Groups was widely understood as a tide-pool in the sexual revolution, and my mother waded in sometimes, at other times she was as likely to find her self in a coffee shop discussing Watergate, or sneaking home to her demanding children and disapproving parents.