b. 14 May 2014, pOrtals is an ongoing collaborative world building and storytelling exercise. It is an immersive environment incorporating elements of chance in online encounters and influences from real world factors.
It began as a text-adventure-style Twitter thread between myself and the experimental electronic musician, Dan Hayhurst. An imagined world consisting of three islands emerged; interactions influenced indirectly by stimulus from our immediate environments, both real and imagined.
Taking the lead from this exercise, interactions within and about the pOrtals world have primarily taken place through conversation, both online and off. Participants have explored, added to and taken away from the fictional environment, often leaving traces that can be stumbled upon by future participants. Remote communications and mediated explorations become a platform for interchanged visions, influencing the choreography and immersion in the space; a reciprocity of a place with no true form.
Transition to and from this non-space, and the interpretation of the texts, have become a focus in reflective research around game-narrative mechanics and structures, whilst the assets in the world that have been produced have become source material from which a patchwork of events, preceding Dan’s initial engagement with the world, can be revealed.
pOrtals has materialised in a number of forms, with a teaser release from Quantum Natives in collaboration with Werkflow, reworking the introduction to the world; a continuation of the narrative in a short radio work for J.G. Biberkopf's NTS Radio show, Unthinkable; a custom chat-client and visual interface created in collaboration with Calum Gunn, and a interpretive video work by Jeremy Coubrough, for an exhibition curated by Dane Sutherland at VOIDOID Archive(Glasgow); a recording of a scripted reading, remixed and presented as a radio installation (Seattle); a series of 1-2-1 roleplay sessions and Guided Tours (Vancouver and online); and a virtual/spatial tableau consisting of selected objects from the pOrtals world, commissioned by DeForrest Brown Jr. for Issue Project Room for a collaborative night of performances with Yearning Kru and Brood Ma, using a custom built UE4 audio interface (New York).
Work is currently underway to create a live AV performance, and playable archive, to be released in late 2018/early 2019. Please contact me for further details.