Oceania: Preserving and Perpetuating Indigenous Knowledge (in development). Adapting the on-line courseware model from Labyrinth’s Russian Modernism, with the same three interwoven central components (multimedia archive, pathways, and role-playing game), this project will present a detailed survey of Oceania’s indigenous knowledge and will enable students to become involved in gathering oral histories. The courseware will be available as free open-source software for use within a wide range of courses at different educational levels and overseen by the local teacher (rather than as distant learning that substitutes for local courses). Its authoring tools will be made available to a wide range of educational institutions, scholars, and students. Eventually the prototype will lead to an exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indians at the Smithsonian Institution. Primary collaborators are Prof. Vilsoni Hereniko, Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai`i; Jeanette Paulsen Hereniko, founder of the Hawaiian International Film Festival and a Research Associate at USC’s Annenberg Center; and Marsha Kinder, Scott Mahoy and Kristy H.A. Kang from The Labyrinth Project at USC.
Replacing Hollywood: Interactive Cinema (in development). This project has three main goals: it combines mobile phones and movies to generate new forms of interactive cinema, it uses this convergence to study reception, and it explores how such practices might affect Hollywood’s role in the global sphere. It is conceived as a three-way collaboration between USC’s Labyrinth Project that specializes in digital city symphonies on Los Angeles, USC’s new Interactive Media Program (headed by VR pioneer Scott Fisher) that experiments with mobile technologies, and the American Cinemathéque in Hollywood (one of the most adventurous non- profit film exhibition venues in LA). As a site-specific “augmented reality” project located on Hollywood Blvd, it enables participants to excavate historical data that puts Hollywood in its place and to produce their own stories to fill in the gaps within Hollywood’s existing system of representation. It thereby challenges Hollywood’s masquerade as the universal source for global media images that are consumed by other national subjects worldwide. The first run of the project will be launched a film series at the American Cinemathéque featuring films about Hollywood. Following a screening, spectators will be able to rent mobile phones that enable them to upload historical data (from the archives of USC and the American Cinemathéque) about their own physical location and those represented in the movie. Through text messaging, camera-phones and brief mobile videos, they will be able to generate their own narrative material that will be uploaded to a server and visible to other participants.
Tangles: Unraveling memories and the Mysteries of Alzheimer’s (now in development). This transmedia network (museum installation, website and DVD-ROM) weaves together three kinds of discourse on Alzheimer’s disease: the latest neurological and biochemical research and treatments and the diagnostic strategies they have generated; the proliferating social and cultural representations that are increasingly making Alzheimer’s the iconic disease of the decade; and a rich collection of personal narratives told by patients, families and caretakers who have had direct experience with this devastating illness. Together these interwoven discourses help to explain why our culture has become so obsessed with issues of memory and forgetting and what this obsession implies about our views on history, continuity and progress. USC collaborators include Prof. Caleb “Tuck” Finch, co-director of USC’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center; Prof. Jean Chen Shih, Prof. of Molecular Pharmacology and toxicology in the USC School of Pharmacy; and Prof. Richard Weinberg, Research Associate Professor in the Division of Animation and Digital Arts.