Breakdowns

Central Saint Martins

A collaborative artistic project inspired in postmodern comic heroes

Guided by Lucy, a British Library Researcher, the audience explores a five-day long transmedia storytelling experiment, living a personalized experience, and engaging in voting, quizzes and live performances.

breakdowns

Central Saint Martins (CSM) is the world-famous art & design college who’s alumni include Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Javis Cocker, and Isaac Julien to name only a few.

As part of the MA in Dramatic Writing, course leader Jennifer Tuckett , Platform Theatre General Manager Ged Matthews  and Business Development Manager at CSM Eleanor​ Mathieson, gave students access to Conducttr with the brief to develop an interactive multiplatform story for the British Library’s Comica exhibition on “Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK”. The theme of the project was to be “Breakdowns” – the title of Art Spiegelman’s first book.

The Story

Lucy is a British Library researcher, who guides the audience through a series of five story-events that explore the subject of breakdowns. She asks the audience’s opinion and personalizes her communication while inviting them to participate further.

The journey begins with a live event, in which the audience registers in the Breakdowns website in order to take part. This registration is managed by a Conducttr sign-up widget, so the audience details are stored in a database and the character Lucy can communicate with the audience members throughout the experience. During this first event, the audience also leaves a recording of a personal story, which will later be used as part of the experience.

Lucy then, over the course of three days, sends the audience a different story about breakdowns, each of which take them across a multi-layered narrative that incorporates writing, video, images, and audio.

At the end of each story, the audience is asked to send their opinion through SMS. This opinion is used by Conducttr to allow Lucy to send an immediate personalized reply, and then to later personalize the ongoing story.

On the fourth day, the final email from Lucy contains an invitation to a live event that culminates the experience. This event integrates live performances with digital enhancements.

For the live event, the audience is invited to participate in a psychological test in which they need to answer five questions. Conducttr handles this test through SMS, storing all the answers for each audience member.

After the live event, Lucy sends an email to all the audience reporting the overall results of the personality test and thanking everyone for their participation in the experience.