A PARTICIPATORY MEDIA ART INSTALLATION ~ ACT Festival, Asia Culture Center, SOUTH KOREA, October-November 2016,

Geelong After Dark Festival, AUSTRALIA, May 2017,

Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, AUSTRALIA, June-July 2018.

The Storytelling Machine is a multi award-winning interactive media artwork. The machine instantly transforms the public’s drawings into animated characters that roam the artwork’s video worlds. The machine delivers a randomly generated collective story created from crowd-sourced content. This project involved a series of international exhibitions and public workshops.

People of all ages draw characters of any shape and feed them into the machine. The machine instantly animates the characters and decides their path across video settings that feature international locations. The public can also contribute short story texts in any language. The Storytelling Machine randomly displays audiences’ drawings and story texts, consequently each exhibition experience is unique.

The Storytelling Machine determines what combination of characters and texts are shown. In effect, the machine delivers a collective story;  a collision of different people’s characters and short texts that come together to form a disjointed contemporary narrative.

In many ways social media has become our society’s dominant narrative. Social platforms often dictate how we write, publish and consume our stories. The Storytelling Machine reflects practices used in social media. As soon as audiences enter their character and text into The Storytelling Machine they relinquish control over them. The machine determines the narrative.

The Storytelling Machine is a unique system that was created in TouchDesigner. It generates real-time graphics across a series of screens.

Link to our related academic paper.

Betty Sargeant ~ Original Concept + Creative Director

Justin Dwyer ~ Technical Director

Peter Walker ~ Creative Coder

Andrew Ogburn ~ Music Composer + Audio Engineer

The Storytelling Machine, Gwangju exhibition was co-produced under sponsorship from the Asia Culture Centre and the ACI.

The development of The Storytelling Machine was supported by the City of Melbourne; the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund; and the City of Port Phillip through the Cultural Development Fund. Thanks to: Exertion Games Lab RMIT University.